TSMC's CEO confirms that 3nm Processors are on target for mass production in 2022 while Advancing 3DFabric Technology
In an April 2020 Patently Apple report we noted that "TSMC has disclosed that its 3nm technology development remains on track, with risk production scheduled for 2021 followed by volume production in the second half of 2022." Then in December we reported that TSMC had revealed a new 3nm-Plus chip for 2023 with Apple being the first customer signed on to use it.
Today we're learning that TSMC's CEO CC Wei commented during the company's earnings conference call yesterday that their 3nm chip code named the N3 is on track and making good progress. Wei added that "We are seeing a much higher level of customer engagement for both HPC and smartphone application at N3 as compared with N5 and N7 at a similar stage."
TSMC's capex intensity remains high due to technology complexity, Wei said while answering questions at the conference. TSMC's spending on EUV lithography equipment for its technology advancements is part of the reasons behind the higher capex this year, Wei continued.
TSMC expects revenue from its backend services to grow at a rate higher than the corporate average in the next few years. The foundry has been promoting its 3DFabric family of technologies consisting of the foundry's backend CoWoS and InFO 3D stacking, and SoIC for 3D heterogeneous integration.
Lastly, Digitimes noted that Wei added that "We observe chiplets are becoming an industry trend. We are working with several customers on 3DFabric to enable chiplet architecture."
TSMC's 3DFabric relates to 3D silicon stacking and advanced packaging technologies that will be able to advance smartphone designs and apply to many industries. 3DFabric will advance applications and workloads to better handle cloud computing, AI, neural networks and more.
The designs allow for a system of mini chips stacked together that offer key advantages over using a monolithic die. It promotes faster time to market and more. You could learn more about TSMC's 3DFabric here.
It's highly likely that Apple will take advantage of TSMC's 3DFabric technology when 3nm or 3nm+ is introduced in iPhones.