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TSMC Begins the Production of its First 3NM AI Chip

TSMC has recently informed that its 5nm and 6nm processes are already in mass production.  Now, they will soon release a higher version of the 5nm process next year.

TSMC officially confirmed that more advanced 2nm, 3nm, and 4nm is in development. As for the 4nm process, it is an ultimate improvement of 5nm. However, the 3nm process is the natural successor to the 5nm process.

In terms of technical indicators, the risk production of the 3nm process (N3) will take place next year. The mass production will commence in 2022. Compared with 5nm, 3nm will reduce power consumption by 25-30% and improve performance by 10-15%. The 4nm (N4) risk production is also scheduled to take place next year.

Just like the 3nm process, 4nm mass production will start in 2022. For TSMC N5 customers, the transition to N4 will be very smooth, which means that the tape-out cost will be greatly reduced.

TSMC’s new technology is often launched by Apple’s A-series processors, especially in the mass production stage. In the past two years, Huawei also launches TSMC’s new technology. Kirin 980 and Kirin 990 5G respectively launched TSMC 7nm and 7nm EUV process respectively.

There have been speculations that the Apple A16 processor will be the first to use TSMC’s 3nm manufacturing process. However, this will not be the case considering TSMC’s latest announcement. According to the Taiwanese manufacturer, its first 3nm customer is British startup, Graphcore. This company is only four years old and it focuses on  AI chip development.


Nitisha Dubey

I am a Journalist with a post graduate degree in Journalism & Mass Communication. I love reading non-fiction books, exploring different destinations and varieties of cuisines. Biographies and historical movies are few favourites.

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