TSMC seeks space in Taiwan to build next-generation chip fabrication plant

Posted:
in iPhone edited December 2016
Apple chip manufacturing partner TSMC is in the early stages of planning a $15.7 billion microchip fabrication plant, in an effort to glean more business from from Apple and other companies needing advanced chip designs.




The company is reportedly seeking between 50 and 80 hectares (124 to 198 acres) of land in Taiwan to build the plant, according to the Nikkei Asian Review. A launch plan for the plant estimates chip production will start at the location in 2022.

TSMC CEO Mark Liu announced that the company will start producing 7nm chips in the first quarter of 2018. The new plant is expected to churn out chips based on a 5nm process currently being developed, and possible 3nm and 2nm processes in the future.

Chips are already being fabricated using a 10nm process, with an early 2017 projected delivery. The iPhone 7 utilizes chips built with a 16nm process.

"Premium tech players with deep pockets such as Apple, Qualcomm, Nvidia?of the U.S., Huawei of China and MediaTek of Taiwan can afford such advanced chip technology," said IEK analyst Jerry Peng. "There are fewer and fewer of them."

TSMC and Apple

TSMC has supplied Apple with A-series chips since the A8's introduction in Sept. 2014. The company is said to be the sole supplier of the A10 Fusion chip in the new iPhone 7 family, and the "A11" for Apple's 2017 lineup.

In August, TSMC was rumored to be working on the "A11" chip for Apple. Additionally, around the same time, TSMC said that trials of 7nm chip fabrication will begin in early 2017, with wide use of the technology coming by 2018.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 8
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,306member
    Makes sense they obviously watch the news or is that read tweets? ;)
  • Reply 2 of 8
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,931member
    Interesting combination of factoids here:

    1. New plant starts production in 2022 making 5 nm chips
    2. 10 nm chips coming in 2017
    3. 7nm chips coming in 2018

    Does this mean that it will be four years between 7nm chips and 5nm chips? 

    Granted, they could start 5nm chips earlier in some other fab, not this one. But if their brand new $15 billion fab is going to start with 5nm chips in 2022, that suggests that 5nm will by no means be old at that point. 

    Seems to me this is really saying that after 2018 we should not expect a new node for a while. 

    Not that there's anything "wrong" with that. Everybody is running into increasingly challenging physical constraints. It just means that Apple (and everyone else) will need to figure out other ways to push forward that are less dependent on decreasing nm. 
  • Reply 3 of 8
    They should open a factory in Nevada or Arizona. Those tariffs are going to destroy these companies from ever being competitive in the US.
  • Reply 4 of 8
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,931member
    They should open a factory in Nevada or Arizona. Those tariffs are going to destroy these companies from ever being competitive in the US.
    I doubt those tariffs will ever happen. 

    But a war in the south china sea might. So the same conclusion. 
  • Reply 5 of 8
    appexappex Posts: 687member
    ¿Next-generation? That is an ambiguous name for obvious reasons. Think about next year, next decade and next century.
  • Reply 6 of 8
    FatmanFatman Posts: 300member
    2nm? Still way too big - LOL. I'm waiting for 180pm (atom sized transistors).
  • Reply 7 of 8
    TSMC are wise to keep their tech and fabrication close to home, or put it in a safe country like the US.

    imdisagree that tariffs in some instances will not be created or increased. But Taiwan is a team player and live by standards adequate to prevent a tariff against them.

    as far as trade tariffs in other locals, don't be surprised!
  • Reply 8 of 8
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,306member
    Fatman said:
    2nm? Still way too big - LOL. I'm waiting for 180pm (atom sized transistors).
    nah, they will have zero mass holograms acting as SOCS soon.
Sign In or Register to comment.