TSMC Expands 7nm Supplier Base; Adds Applied Materials, AMTEC & More As First Gen 7nm Will Use DUV For Manufacture

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Jul 19, 2017
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Taiwanese fab TSMC is starting to expand its 7nm chip production capabilities. It scored a big win over Samsung in the form of winning Apple’s orders for the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. But with the amount of resources at its disposal, Samsung isn’t the one to be left behind. The Korean manufacturer has already detailed its roadmap for 7nm processors. Now, TSMC also seems ready to make similar moves. The company has started to expand its equipment suppliers for 7nm. Take a look below to find out more.

Taiwanese Fab TSMC Expands Supplier Network For 7nm Equipment; Will Adopt Deep UV (DUV) Tools Before Shifting To EUV

This year, the big thing in the smartphone world is 10nm. Both Qualcomm and Samsung have produced chips with the advanced manufacturing process. The only one remaining now is Apple, as Cupertino will bring the process to its smartphone users with the iPhone 8. However, even as 10nm is yet to become common among users, manufacturers are already racing towards the next generation 7nm processors.

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After Samsung, now it’s TSMC’s turn to start developing facilities for 7nm. The Taiwanese fab is increasing its supplier network for the prcoess, in order to gain more control over pricing. TSMC reportedly hopes to capture demand for Apple’s 2018 iPhone, which will feature the 7nm process. Moving over to the Android world, makers still expect 10nm to be around next year, so if Cupertino and its partners can pull off such a move, then expect at least some feathers to be ruffled.

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DigiTimes claims to have a lot of information regarding TSMC’s 7nm plans. According to the publication, “Applied Materials, Lam Research, Tokyo Electron, Hitachi High Technologies and Advanced Micro-Fabrication Equipment (AMEC) are all being included in TSMC’s supplier list for its 7nm process. Of the companies, Tokyo Electron and Lam are expected to receive most demand from TSMC. According to TSMC’s plan, the foundry’s first-generation 7nm process will be ready for volume production in 2018. The second generation of TSMC’s 7nm process, which will adopt extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography technology, will arrive a year later.

Samsung on the other hand will produce its 7nm chips directly using EUV. The lithographic process will usher in a new era of silicon, as decreasing die size makes printing chips harder than before. Still, it’s good to hear that Samsung’s got competition. After all, a few companies can stand up to the Korean tech giant’s massive resources. Thoughts? Let us know what you think in the comments section below and stay tuned. We’ll keep you updated on the latest.

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Source: DigiTimes

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