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Apple Supplier TSMC Developing Smartphone Chips to Power Next Wave of Innovative Features

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Apple chip supplier TSMC is racing to stay on top of their game. TSMC's co-CEO Mark Liu stated at a recent event in Hsinchu that smartphones will continue to provide growth momentum for TSMC. With new smartphones coming with more innovative features, the number of ICs and sensors will continue to grow.


Liu revealed at the event that TSMC has been mass producing 16nm chips, and is looking to enter volume production of 10nm chips by the end of 2016. Moving forward, the foundry will start risk production of 7nm chips in early 2017, and has been engaged in the development of 5nm process technology.


TSMC will continue to innovate to keep Moore's Law alive, and maintaining the company's technology leadership is always a fundamental strategy, said


While TSMC's R&D for 5nm process continues, a team of the foundry's 300-400 engineers has already been involved in R&D for 3nm process, Liu indicated.


Eventually, TSMC expects to team up with academics to develop 2nm process technology, according to Liu. With technology breakthroughs, TSMC is confident Moore's Law will continue to be relevant.


Meanwhile, chipmakers will have to constantly upgrade their technologies for the manufacture of advanced ICs and sensors for phones, Liu said.


Earlier this month Patently Apple reported that "TSMC's Simon Wang, senior director of business development stated that the company was going to start on tape-out on 7-nano chips in first quarter of next year and start mass-production in early 2018." He further noted that TSMC's 7nm chips will outperform its rivals in both power and performance.


Wang also revealed at that time that TSMC is heavily engaged in R&D for 5nm process technology, and will be ready to use extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography to make 5nm chips.. Risk production is expected to complete in the first half of 2019.


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