TSMC is said to be ready to begin production of its 3 nanometer fabrication process in its new processors during the second half of this year (almost a year ahead of schedule).
The information comes from Digitimes, which reports that while Samsung has been forced to to delay its production of 3nm wafers due to the pandemic, TSMC is on its way to start producing them by the end of 2021.
Still, we won’t see these 3nm processors on PC anytime soon. The reports They suggest that Apple has commissioned the entire initial production for use in future iOS devices and Apple Silicon hardware.
Others rumors point to Intel’s best processors being mass-manufactured by TSMC with 3nm in the second half of 2022, making Intel TSMC’s second-largest customer, after Apple.
If this is true, it means that companies like AMD and Nvidia will have to settle for whatever TSMC has left of 7nm and 5nm for now.
Digitimes says TSMC’s initial 3nm production is slated for 30,000 chips a month, with an extension capacity that could reach 105,000 a month by 2023.
For comparison, TSMC produces roughly 140,000 7nm wafers per month and 105,000 5nm wafers, and they plan to expand to 120,000 units by the end of 2021.
Still pending production, TSMC has already said its 3nm process will see a 10-15% performance increase over its 5nm process. It has also been said that 3nm chips will offer 20-25% energy savings.