TSMC’s 3nm Process Enters Pilot Phase in Taiwan Factory

What happened now? Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) has reportedly entered a pilot production phase of its 3nm process, or N3, at Fab 18 in southern Taiwan. If all goes according to schedule, TSMC will move to mass production by the end of 2022.

According to unnamed industry sources DigiTimes (paid, through MacRumors) that TSMC plans to begin shipping 3nm chips to customers like Intel and Apple in the first quarter of 2023, which contradicts earlier rumors on the topic.

The first 3nm chips from Apple are expected to appear in upcoming Mac and iPhone models like the M3 and A17 Bionic, respectively. The Information said last month that some Apple M3 chips can contain up to four dies with 40 cores. In comparison, the current generation M1 Pro and M1 Max chips are equipped with 10-core processors.

In the meantime, we’ll likely see Macs with M2 chips and iPhone 14 models with hardware built on N4P TSMN processwhich is the third significant improvement to the 5nm process. Back in October, TSMC announced that N4P will deliver an 11% performance boost over the original N5 technology and 6% over the N4. We were told that N4P would also improve energy efficiency by 22% over N5.

V related newsIntel reportedly intends to visit TSMC later this month to discuss 3nm chip manufacturing and manufacturing facilities. Intel is seeking a closer relationship with TSMC to avoid disputes with Apple over the available 3nm capacity.

Image Credit Fabrizio Trujillo

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