TSMC starts production of advanced chips with 3nm technology in Taiwan

Chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) on Thursday began production of its most advanced chips with 3-nanometre technology in Taiwan.
TSMC for iPhonesTSMC Chairman Mark Liu said it would continue to expand capacity in Taiwan, without revealing more details on fresh investment plans.

The long-awaited mass production of chips with 3-nanometre technology at its Fab 18 construction site in the Southern Taiwan Science Park (STSP) comes as attention focuses on the world’s largest contract chipmaker’s investment plans at home and abroad, Reuters news report said.

TSMC said its total investment in Fab 18 will exceed NT$1.86 trillion, creating more than 23,500 construction jobs and over 11,300 high-tech direct job opportunities.

In addition to expanding 3nm capacity in Taiwan, TSMC is also building 3nm capacity at its Arizona site in the United States.

TSMC has a dominant position as a maker of advanced chips used in technology from smartphones to fighter jets. TSMC estimates that 3nm technology will create end products with a market value of $1.5 trillion within five years of volume production.

“TSMC is maintaining its technology leadership while investing significantly in Taiwan, continuing to invest and prosper with the environment,” TSMC Chairman Mark Liu told a ceremony marking the production and capacity expansion in the southern city of Tainan.

Liu said demand for the firm’s 3-nanometre chip was very strong, driven by new technologies including 5G and high-performance computing products.

TSMC’s 3nm process is the most advanced semiconductor technology in both power, performance, and area (PPA) and in transistor technology. TSMC’s 3nm process offers up to 1.6X logic density gain and 30-35 percent power reduction at the same speed compared with the 5nm (N5) process.

Earlier this month, TSMC said it would more than triple its investment at its new Arizona plant to $40 billion, among the largest foreign investments in U.S. history.

TSMC, which counts Apple and Nvidia among its major clients, is also building a chip plant in Japan and has said it was in the early stages of reviewing a potential expansion into Germany.

TSMC said it was working to build factories for the next generation 2-nanometre chips, which were planned to be manufactured in northern and central Taiwan.

TSMC has repeatedly said that the bulk of its manufacturing will remain in Taiwan.

TSMC also announced that the company’s global R&D Center in the Hsinchu Science Park will open in the second quarter of 2023, to be staffed by 8,000 R&D personnel.

TSMC is also making preparations for its 2nm fabs, which will be located in the Hsinchu and Central Taiwan Science Parks, with a total of six phases proceeding as planned.