TSMC building 2nm wafer foundry, expanding production capacity in Taiwan

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TSMC is no longer taking orders from Huawei.

August 25—The Taiwanese Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) intends to build a 2nm wafer factory in Hsinchu, Taiwan, reports DigiTimes. The site also notes the firm recently acquired new fabrication facilities in the region. Thanks to its advanced manufacturing capability, the brand leads the industry in the commercial production of high-performance chipsets.

As a result, TSMC’s chip-making services are in high demand and pushing its revenue generation to new heights.

New 2nm Plant and Production Capacity Expansion

According to DigiTimes, TSMC has secured a patch of land where it intends to build a 2nm wafer fab in Hsinchu. Once up and running, the facility will be the semiconductor company’s most advanced manufacturing facility. The brand announced plans to begin research and development into a 2nm production process in April.

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DigiTimes states the firm also recently acquired several factory buildings in the Southern Taiwan Science Park (STSP). The brand intends to convert the facilities, one of which previously made LCD panels, into 5nm and 3nm wafer plants.

The company started building a 3nm dedicated fab in STSP last October and intends to commence high volume production of the ultra-dense wafer type in 2023.

Why TSMC is So Popular

While many companies brag about the innovative nature of their offerings, TSMC delivers by releasing groundbreaking new products. The firm’s 5nm nodes offer a 15 percent performance increase over its 7nm wafers with 30 percent less power consumption. The line also provides 1.8 times the logic density over the prior version, which gives its chip-making clients more design flexibility.

By comparison, rivals are still working on how to bring older technologies that TSMC already mastered into high volume production. Samsung is grappling with low yields for its 5nm offerings and does not intend to release chips at that scale until 2021. Similarly, Intel recently delayed the launch of its 7nm products until 2022 due to ongoing manufacturing issues.

In fact, Intel reportedly contracted TSMC to fabricate 180,000 6nm chips in July.

Around the time its competitors release their 7nm and 5nm nodes, the Taiwanese manufacturer intends to deploy a new generation of wafers. The company plans to enter risk production of its 3nm lineup in late 2021 and enter mass-volume output in 2022. The brand boasts its 3nm components will be 10 to 15 percent more powerful, 25 to 30 percent more energy-efficient, and 1.7 times denser.

TSMC’s Expansion Spree

Because of its advanced technological resources, tech giants like AMD, Apple, Marvell, MediaTek, NXP Semiconductors, Nvidia, Qualcomm, and Tesla contracted TSMC to make their chipsets. After the coronavirus pandemic created a surge in demand for high-performance components, the firm experienced a spike in sales. In Q1 2020, the brand made a near decade-high $10.3 billion, and it outpaced that result in Q2 2020.

The manufacturer is also rapidly expanding production capacity to meet massive demand for its services.

In January, TSMC announced it would increase its annual capital expenditure from $14 billion to $15 billion to expand its 5nm and 7nm fabrication plants. Four months later, the brand revealed it would build a $12 billion wafer factory in Arizona. Last month, the corporation issued nearly half a billion dollars in bonds to get more funding to upgrade its equipment.

The brand is doing so well, it seemingly absorbed the loss of a major client without slowing down. Because of new U.S. Commerce Department rules, TSMC can no longer sell products to Huawei, which represented 14 percent of its revenue in 2019. However, a month after Washington issued its new export controls, the firm reportedly filled its old partner’s slots in its manufacturing schedule.

Thanks to its cutting-edge fabrication processes and ever-expanding production capacity, TSMC will likely stand at the forefront of the industry for many years to come.

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