TSMC on track for mid-2020 5 nm production, 3 nm scheduled for 2022
TSMC senior vice president of fab operations JK Wang recently informed that the 5 nm semiconductor volume production is still on track for 2H 2020. This should significantly help boost the 5G mobile chip adoption rate, and TSMC will probably be once again overbooked with orders. But the booming production has its benefits, too. More revenue means that the Taiwanese fabs can plan ahead for upcoming smaller nodes, like the 3 nm and 2 nm ones.
There should also be an intermediary 6 nm node, but TSMC is not promoting this node too much. Meanwhile, the company has increased its CapEx spending for improved 7 nm and 5 nm nodes, focusing mostly on transitioning all the 7 nm facilities towards 5 nm production lines. The jump to 5 nm will help streamline the power efficiency for SoCs that integrate a fast 5G modem akin to the rumored Apple A14 Bionic chips that are expected to launch in late 2020.
As for the 3 nm nodes, TSMC plans to have this type of production lines ready by 2022. The jump to 3 nm will bring significant performance gains for AMD’s desktop and server processors, and it will be interesting to see how Intel is going to fair out with its 7 nm CPUs. Moreover, TSMC has already started research for the 2 nm nodes, but we have yet to see how the company will handle the sub-1 nm production process.