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The development of a 3 nm process technology is at risk of disruption. TSMC and Samsung Issues
TSMC and Samsung, the leading production pioneers of FinFET GAA 3nm ICs, all encountered unexpected challenges. The hitch could contribute to the interruption of a commercial launch in 2022, the failure of a deal with Apple by TSMC, and even a leadership surrender to Intel.
At full gallop, unexpectedly,
The commercial launch of semiconductor manufacturing will need to be delayed by Samsung and TSMC, who are currently leading the way in the 3nm phase. This was announced by the IT Home Chinese IT portal, citing data collected from analysts at Digitimes in Taiwan from undisclosed industry sources.
Both companies have currently experienced difficulties in refining their fin field-effect transistor (FinFET) technology to the new Gate-All-Around (FinFET GAA) technology, which is considered a requirement for both Samsung and TSMC technological processes to move from 4-5 nm standards to 3 nm standards.
No specifics have been published regarding the problems that have arisen, but it is understood that the difficulties did not emerge with the production of the FinFET GAA itself, but with the technology’s corresponding “key bottleneck”
According to Digitimes analysts, in case of a breakdown of the previously announced plans, Samsung and TSMC would be required to “linger” at the point of developing the 5 nm process technology. The delay could, on the other hand, intensify market competitiveness, giving Intel an additional temporary head start to close the gap with its new 10nm process technology.
There are a lot of proposals that are old,
Back in July 2020, members of TSMC announced plans to complete certification and begin trial production by the end of 2021, with commercial production in the second half of 2022, using 3 nm process technology. The first chips with 3 TSMC were originally to be developed on the Fab 18 Phase 3 production lines. The development of a 4 nm topology was also announced by TSMC, which was originally scheduled to be released in 2023.
In the summer of 2020, Apple’s intentions to become the very first TSMC customer for initial batches of chips with 3 nm specifications became public. In addition, members of TSMC expressed a prediction at the time for the start of pilot development at 2 nm speeds in 2023-2024.
TSMC’s management had high expectations until recently for the accelerated growth of the 3 nm process technology.
Thus, speaking at the 2020 results meeting, the company’s head, Liu Deyin, announced that TSMC’s overall investment in 3 nm topology production has now surpassed 2 trillion new Taiwan dollars (approximately $71 billion), while the company’s target is to achieve productivity of up to 600,000 12-inch silicon wafers with 3 nm chips every month.
For a number of global firms, including MediaTek, AMD, Apple, Qualcomm and, until recently, Huawei, TSMC is engaged in contract manufacturing of processors and other semiconductor components.
In exchange, in 2019, the manufacturing division of Samsung has announced plans to spend up to $ 116 billion in a 3 nm output topology in the next decade in order to keep up with TSMC.