back to article Taiwan’s silicon titan TSMC says three-nanometre tech is on track for 2021 debut and a 2022 flood of kit

Taiwan’s silicon manufacturing titan TSMC has revealed it should be ready to produce chips using a three-nanometre process in 2022. Speaking on the manufacturer's fourth-quarter earnings call with financial analysts this week, chief executive C. C. Wei said some 3nm production will happen in 2021, with volume production in the …

  1. ecarlseen

    “...and other effects”

    Other effects like Intel hiring a bunch of drunk frat jocks to do their process engineering.

  2. bazza Silver badge

    Holy Mackerel

    3nm arriving in production just like that? I wonder what Intel's share price is like now? With them stuck on 14nm it's beginning to look like they're pushing out silicon nearly 5 times less dense (OK, that's an apples vs oranges comparison, but even so). I know Intel are planning on using TSMC, but they're going to have to go fab-less ASAP or disappear. AMD's Epycs and Ryzens on 3nm would be unbelievably better than anything in Intel's catalogue.

    1. SimplyIntricate

      Re: Holy Mackerel

      Intel share price is actually surging at the moment on the back of the news they are replacing CEO Bob Swan with Pat Gelsinger formally of VMware.

      Though I agree long term it doesn’t look good for Intel, though they do still make obscene amounts of money. I wonder if we will see a return of anti competitive practices like giving massive rebates to OEM’s to favour intel parts in their product lines .

    2. Boothy Silver badge

      Re: Holy Mackerel

      It's going to be interesting to see what happens with Intel over the next coupe of years.

      Currently most of their chips (other than mobile) are still on 14nm.

      Their latest mobile (i.e. laptop) chips are now on their 10nm, which seems to be working a bit better now, but still not suitable for higher end desktop parts.

      Intel have delayed their 7nm, which is now apparently due late 2022, or early 2023.

      And as you mention, Intel are talking to TSMC, apparently we should expect to see some Intel i3's being produced at TCMCs 5nm by the end of this year, with higher end parts being produced at TCMCs 3nm in late 2022.

      Makes you wonder if Intel will end up with for example some i3/i5/i7/i9 chips in 2022 made at both Intel 7nm and TCMCs 3nm. Be curious to see how they stack up against each other.

      And of course by that point, Intel should be wondering (if not already) why bother having their own fab? They could spin that part of the business off separately, or just sell it (like AMD did years ago), and just get their chips made by someone else.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Holy Mackerel

      >>>they're pushing out silicon nearly 5 times less dense.

      That is not how it works. The interconnect isn't shrunk to the same scale.

      1. Trollslayer

        Re: Holy Mackerel

        One place I worked at the back end team had been heard to moan about tracks falling over when they were designing the first 7mn device.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Holy Mackerel

          Widths have shrunk. Heights not to the same scale either. Which is why sidewall Cap became dominant.

  3. StrangerHereMyself

    No worries

    TSMC shouldn't be concerned with the loss of its business from Huawei since Western fabless manufacturers are almost desperate to get the smallest node for their products. Even Intel may start producing its CPU's though TSMC as they can't seem to plug the leak they have moving towards smaller nodes.

    1. Boothy Silver badge

      Re: No worries

      TSMC produced i3 CPUs are apparently due by the end of this year on TSMC 5nm, with higher end Intel CPUs being produced at TSMCs 3nm late in 2022.

      Assuming this article is correct of course: https://www.trendforce.com/presscenter/news/20210113-10651.html

      1. StrangerHereMyself

        Re: No worries

        There you have it.

        They'll undoubtedly will want to produce their high-end Xeons on the smallest node, since they can use the bragging rights to up their prices.

  4. Captain Obvious
    Mushroom

    So if they have a plant in China...

    shouldn't they worry about their tech being stolen? Kind of a dumb move, especially with tensions high between China and Taiwan.

    1. Richard Crossley
      Mushroom

      Re: So if they have a plant in China...

      I think they should. Personally based in Hong Kong, China or rather Chinese Communist Party, seems quite belligerent.

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