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TSMC Advances in 1-nm Semiconductor Core Technology

TSMC has reported an advancement in the 1-nanometer (nm) semiconductor manufacturing process, going one step ahead of Samsung Electronics in competition for micro-fabrication processes.

TSMCAccording to foreign media outlets such as Hexus, research scientists from TSMC, the National Taiwan University (NTU) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have announced a breakthrough in the use of ‘beyond silicon and 2D materials in electronics in a paper published by Nature.

They claim that the research provides a path to electronics manufacturing processes of 1nm and lower, helping break past the limits of current semiconductor technology and materials.

According to the research paper, researchers replaced silicon, a key material of semiconductors, with a 2D material that has low contact resistance and high current delivery capabilities by combining silicon with bismuth (Bi), a semi-metal element.

Currently, TSMC and Samsung Electronics are the only two companies in the world that can mass-produce sub-7-nm semiconductors. Both companies are currently mass-producing 5-nm products.

Semiconductor industry experts have been paying attention to which of the two companies will start mass-producing 3-nm products first. A 3-nm process is known to reduce the chip size by 35 percent compared to a 5-nm process but boost its performance and battery efficiency by 15 percent and 30 percent, respectively.

TSMC is expected to start mass-producing 3-nm products at the end of next year. The Taiwanese semiconductor giant is building a 5-nm production line in Phoenix, Arizona by investing US$12 billion. It recently laid out a plan to additionally build five production lines including a state-of-the-art sub-3-nm line.

Samsung Electronics also announced that it will start mass-producing 3-nm semiconductors next year. However, TSMC took one step ahead of it by announcing a breakthrough in developing 1-nm core technology.

Samsung Electronics still lags far behind its global competitor TSMC in the foundry business. In 2020, TSMC topped the global foundry market with a 54 percent share while Samsung Electronics held 17 percent, less than a third of TSMC, according to market research firm TrendForce.

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Aishwarya Saxena

A book geek, with creative mind, an electronics degree, and zealous for writing.Creativity is the one thing in her opinion which drove her to enter into editing field. Allured towards south Indian cuisine and culture, love to discover new cultures and their customs. Relishes in discovering new music genres.

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