Report: TSMC lays the groundwork for a 5-nm and 3-nm foundry

The chip-making world may be gearing up for 10-nm chip manufacturing processes, but according to a report by the Nikkei Asian Review, contract silicon manufacturing house Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) is getting ready to build a fab for what it calls "5-nm" and "3-nm" process nodes. The company reportedly expects the plant to cost approximately $500 billion New Taiwan dollars, an amount equivalent to $15.8 billion U.S. dollars. According to the reports, TSMC has already asked the Taiwanese government for assistance in finding a location of sufficient size for the new factory.

Nikkei Asian Review says that TSMC expects to start manufacturing chips on what it calls a 10-nm process in existing plants early next year, and it's planning to kick off 7-nm manufacturing in 2018. Taiwan's minister of science and technology Yang Hung-duen told the site that production at the new foundry could begin in 2022, meaning that consumer chips built on these new process sizes are at least five years away.

TSMC builds semiconductor chips under contract for over 400 design houses, including A-series SoCs for Apple, Snapdragon chips for Qualcomm, and a host of upper-tier GPUs for Nvidia. Some of these chips are also manufactured by other silicon manufacturers.

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    • ronch
    • 3 years ago

    I want my RyZEN built on 3nm, please.

    And make sure it’ll hit 10GHz without a heatsink.

    • anotherengineer
    • 3 years ago

    I prefer 5000pm and 3000pm 🙂

    • Srsly_Bro
    • 3 years ago

    TSMC took notes from AMD on rebranding.

      • AnotherReader
      • 3 years ago

      No, TSMC is worse. The newest iteration of the 16nm process is named 12 nm even though no features have decreased in size.

    • dodozoid
    • 3 years ago

    I like the way Wayne refers to the process name – what they call “5nm” and “3nm”
    Nice distinction between actual specification and marketing bullshit

    • blastdoor
    • 3 years ago

    Now might be a good time for TSMC to consider some geographic diversification in the location of its manufacturing facilities. Maybe Canada?

    • derFunkenstein
    • 3 years ago

    Pretty soon we’re going to have to come up with another measurement. 50 and 30 decinanometers? 500 and 300 centinanometers? I’m sure there’s an actual name for these measurements.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 3 years ago

      5,000 millinanometers sounds absolutely yooj

      • AnotherReader
      • 3 years ago

      [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angstrom<]Ångström[/url<]

        • derFunkenstein
        • 3 years ago

        well, shit. There goes my morning.

      • just brew it!
      • 3 years ago

      [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Picometre<]Picometre[/url<] (or picometer for us Americans).

        • willmore
        • 3 years ago

        Yeah, it’s almost like there should be a standard for these kinds of things, right?

        [url<]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metric_prefix[/url<]

      • willyolio
      • 3 years ago

      it’s amazing how easily confused americans are by the metric system.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 3 years ago

        I like making stuff up

        • blastdoor
        • 3 years ago

        Well obviously — it’s an absurd system!

        The imperial system is so much more intuitive. Who can’t understand that a thou is 1/12000 of a foot, that a furlong is 10 chains, or that a league is 3 miles?

        It’s just so [b<]obvious[/b<]!

        • derFunkenstein
        • 3 years ago

        Coming back to this, it’s like you think I don’t have Google and couldn’t have looked it up if it was consequential and/or I actually cared. Now I’m cheesed.

      • eofpi
      • 3 years ago

      Microyoctoparsecs.

    • ronch
    • 3 years ago

    5nm and 3nm eh? Yeah sure.

      • nanoflower
      • 3 years ago

      Yeah, it’s getting to the point where I’m starting to ignore any reports of a new decrease in size given everyone has a different way of measuring the size of their process. I don’t know but wouldn’t be surprised if the same company would choose different ways of measuring different processes just so they can claim the best process in the world. I’ll wait for actual chips to be produced and see what the performance increase is to judge how effective a new process is.

    • chuckula
    • 3 years ago

    [quote<]According to the reports, TSMC has already asked the Taiwanese government for assistance in finding a location of sufficient size for the new factory.[/quote<] Well at 5nm or 3nm I don't think it'll be too hard to find space.

    • nanoflower
    • 3 years ago

    This has probably been discussed before but how close does the Taiwan government and TSMC (and other technology related companies) work together. I know that with China there’s a close relationship and often ownership by the state, but I don’t know just what the relationship is between the Taiwanese government and industry.

      • Ninjitsu
      • 3 years ago

      I’d assume at this level there’s cooperation between every industry and government, regardless of country.

      • AnotherReader
      • 3 years ago

      [url=http://www.oregonlive.com/silicon-forest/index.ssf/2014/08/intels_new_tax_deal_is_a_whopp.html<]This looks like government assistance[/url<] for [u<][i<][b<]Intel[/b<][/i<][/u<]. Here are [url=http://www.nccivitas.org/2010/top-ten-north-carolina-economic-incentive-deals/<]some other sweet deals[/url<] for Apple, Dell, and Google.

      • TheRazorsEdge
      • 3 years ago

      Taiwan is a free market nation. They are roughly on par with the US on economic freedom.

      Their government runs development programs occasionally, and their tech development program in the 1970s is probably why they ended up being such a prominent player in the modern computing industry.

      They are encouraging tech growth with new programs, so I expect TSMC is getting a piece of that action—similar to what American corporations do here.

    • tsk
    • 3 years ago

    Oh TSMC…..

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