TSMC Wants to Retain Its ‘Sole Chip Supplier’ Status for Apple – Confirmed Plans for Its Very Expensive 5nm Fabrication Plant
It emerged in January that TSMC was planning to invest in a 5nm chip fabrication process to be the only supplier for Apple’s A-series of chipsets found in the company’s iPhone and iPad lineup. The plan to release chips on a smaller lithography has now been confirmed by the semiconductor manufacturer and the company’s dedicated is quite transparent as it is going to be injecting a lot of money in this operation just to keep Apple its sole customer.
TSMC Planning to Invest a Total of $25 Billion to Start 5nm Chip Production as Quickly as Possible
According to Reuters, TSMC revealed on Thursday that it will inject $25 billion in 5nm node technology. TSMC had been the sole supplier of the Apple and its A-series chips that power the iPad and iPhone family ever since the A9X came out with the premium and powerful iPad Pro. The company is the exclusive provider of chips because it has an edge over Samsung in smaller processes, not to mention that it has a record of bringing this technology faster than the Korean giant.
TSMC hasn’t revealed its schedule yet, but an earlier report claimed that the company will begin mass production by 2020 and its hopes to commercialize the 3nm process by 2022. This was confirmed by the company’s Chief Executive and Vice Chairman, C.C. Wei. He revealed this while speaking at the TSMC technology forum in Hsinchu. The company intends to set up a plant in the Southern Taiwan Science Park in Tainan and to update you, the construction process has already started.
The plant is expected to produce 1 million 12-inch silicon wafers annually, with Wei reiterating that the company continues to invest in research, development, and manpower. He also stated that TSMC is one of the two companies that can make the new investment in this area. The chip producer commenced mass production of its 7nm nodes this year. Though it is expected to be inferior compared to Samsung’s 7nm EUV technology, the company is expected to produce chips that will be used in graphics processing units, AI, application processors, and 5G.
The 7nm node manufacturing process is said to be carried out using UV equipment provided by ASML and Nikon and produce wafers at a wavelength of 193nm.