Apple chip production partner Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) is on track to begin risk production of a 3-nanometer fabrication process in the second half of this year. The foundry will be capable of cranking out 30,000 wafers using the new technology.
The 3nm process yields 30% and 15% power consumption and performance improvements over the 5nm process.
TSMC is reportedly planning to expand its 3nm process capacity to 55,000 units monthly in 2022, thanks to Apple’s commitment, and will then scale up output to 105,000 units in 2023.
TSMC’s 5nm process capacity will reach 160,000 wafers monthly by 2024, the sources indicated. In addition to Apple, other major customers using TSMC’s 5nm process manufacturing include AMD, MediaTek, Xilinx, Marvell, Broadcom and Qualcomm, the sources said.
TSMC also has plans to scale up its 5nm process manufacturing capacity throughout the year. The report indicates YSMC will increase production to 105,000 wafers monthly in the first half of 2021, up from 90,000 units in the fourth quarter of 2020. Process capacity should expand to 120,000 units in the second half of this year.
Apple will reportedly use a 5nm+ A15 chip in its upcoming “iPhone 13” lineup. 5nm+, or N5P, is said to be a “performance-enhanced version” of the 5nm chip used in its iPhone 12 handsets. The chip will deliver additional power efficiency and better performance.