TSMC has reportedly won a huge order of its 3nm process node from Intel who will be using the new technology to develop its next-generation chips.
TSMC Wins Big 3nm Node Order From Intel, Will Produce Several Next-Gen Chips For Chipzilla!
Quoting its sources within the supply chain, Chinese media outlet, UDN, has reported that Intel has grabbed the majority of TSMC's 3nm process node orders for the production of its next-generation chips. The news outlet quotes that production is expected to commence at TSMC's 18b Fab during Q2 2022 and mass production is expected to commence by mid of 2022. The production capacity is expected hit 4,000 wafers by May 2022 and would reach 10,000 wafers per month during volume ramp.
There were already reports that Intel will be leveraging TSMC's 3nm process node for its next-gen processors and graphics products. We first starting hearing rumors starting in early 2021 where it was reported that Intel might be producing its mainstream consumer chips based on the N3 node to try to achieve process parity with AMD. Last month, we heard another news outlet that cited two Intel design wins by TSMC.
Now, it is reported that there aren't two but at least four products that are going to be produced at TSMC's 18b Fab on the 3nm process node. These include three designs for the server segment and one design for the graphics segment. We can't say for sure which products these are but Intel had already pinned its next-gen Granite Rapids Xeon CPU as an 'Intel 4' (formerly 7nm) product. Intel's upcoming chips will be featuring a tile-based architecture design that mix and matches various chiplets and interconnects them through Forveros / EMIB technologies.
It is likely that certain tiled dies will be produced at TSMC while others will be produced at Intel's own Fabs. Intel's flagship chip, the 'Intel 4' based Ponte Vecchio GPU, is one product that is a good representation of this multi-tile design which has several chiplets on different nodes produced at various fabs. Intel's 2023 Meteor Lake CPUs are expected to feature a similar tile configuration and the Compute Tile has already been taped out on the 'Intel 4' process node. There's also the IO and graphics tiles that may possible rely on external fabs.
The story further details that Intel has gobbled up TSMC's entire 3nm production capacity which may put stress on its competitors, mainly AMD and Apple. AMD who had solely relied on TSMC for the production of its latest 7nm chips has been facing severe supply issues due to process node constraints over at TSMC. This may also be a tactic for Intel to stop AMD's node progression by pushing their own chips as a priority over at TSMC though that remains to be seen. For those who missed it out, Chipzilla has already confirmed that it will outsource its chips to other fabs if it needs to so there's no speculation regarding that.