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Apple Supplier Announces 5nm Processors Scheduled for 2019-2020 Time Line and Work on 3nm is Progressing



TSMC's Co-Chief Executive Mark Liu stated earlier today that they will begin producing cutting-edge 5-nanometer chips in small quantities in the first half of 2019.  Liu also updated attendants at a TSMC supplier meeting that the company is progressing well on advanced technologies, disclosing details for 3nm chip technology development.


"We have dedicated around 6,000 [research and development] staff on the 5-nanometer process technology, and we are very optimistic about 3-nanometer chip development though it still takes time," said Liu, "For 3-nanometer, we have already deployed several hundred [research and development] engineers in research programs."


If all goes according to plan, TSMC will be the first chipmaker to possess advanced 5nm chip technology. This will help TSMC to maintain its technological edge over its two major rivals, Intel and Samsung Electronics, in the global contract chipmaking market.


The Taiwanese chipmaker now boasts of a 55% market share and dominates orders for iPhone 7 range core processors, which uses TSMC's 16nm chips.


TSMC is also expected to monopolize the production of iPhone's 10th anniversary range this year. Apple will adopt its 10nm technology for core processors used in the upcoming handsets.


The smaller the nanometer size, the more advanced the chip, but also the more challenging to develop.


Samsung and TSMC are wrestling for market share in 10nm production. TSMC began producing 10nm chips in mass quantities in the third quarter in 2016 and will begin shipping the new product this quarter.


The Taiwanese chipmaker is counting on Apple, Huawei Technologies' chip arm Hisilicon Technology, and MediaTek, the largest mobile chip provider to China, to buy its 10nm chips.


Meanwhile, Intel said it will start shipping 10nm chips for personal computers this year and announced that their 7nm plant is back on their roadmap due to business incentives that the Trump administration will be tabling later this year.


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