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TSMC claims to be right on track with 3nm chip production during fab expansion announcement

TSMC's 3nm fab. (Source: TSMC)
TSMC's 3nm fab. (Source: TSMC)
TSMC chairman Dr. Mark Liu has officially declared production of its advanced 3 nanometer (nm) process open, cutting the ribbon on the expanded fabrication unit at the Southern Taiwan Science Park (STSP) for this purpose. Dr. Liu also claimed that 3nm yields are comparable to those of the previous generation at the same point in its manufacture, despite reports of poor performance in this area by other OEMs thus far.

TSMC's most advanced market-ready 3nm node is thought to result in next-gen chips such as the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 SoC from Qualcomm and Apple's M2 Pro. Now, the semiconductor behemoth has marked what it claims as a "key milestone" in its production, with the "volume expansion" of its Fab 18 (phase 8) for the purpose at the STSP.

Dr. Liu projected that TSMC will end up investing 1.86 trillion new Taiwanese dollars (~US$60.5 billion) into the Fab, each phase of which has 58,000 square meters of cleanroom space (or about twice that of the average comparable facility). Then again, the company has also reiterated that it also plans to build 3nm fabs at its upcoming Arizona plant.

TSMC's 3nm process is already estimated to exhibit a "logic density gain" of ~60%, with 30-35% greater power efficiency at the same speed, compared to its 5nm forebear. The company's chairman has reportedly quoted a similar yield rate between the 2 thus far, which might put that of 3nm at nearly 80% at this stage.

Then again, industry experts assert that TSMC should expect rates of 70 to 75% over time. Meanwhile, Samsung allegedly lags behind with its own 3nm endeavors, with yields as low as 20% to date.

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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2023 01 > TSMC claims to be right on track with 3nm chip production during fab expansion announcement
Deirdre O'Donnell, 2023-01- 3 (Update: 2023-01- 3)