Apple and Intel take the lead in adopting TSMC’s 3nm technology

According to reports, TSMC’s 3-nanometer chip has a 10-15% increase in computing performance compared with the current most sophisticated 5-nanometer chip.

Nihon Keizai Shimbun recently learned that Apple and Intel are testing TSMC’s next-generation process technology, and the two American companies will become the first customer base for TSMC’s 3 nanometer technology.

Apple and Intel take the lead in adopting TSMC's 3nm technology

According to reports, TSMC’s 3-nanometer chip has a 10-15% increase in computing performance compared with the current most sophisticated 5-nanometer chip.

This shows that when the US government is actively leading the increase in local semiconductor manufacturing, TSMC’s technological leadership enables it to still play an important role in the supply chain of US companies.

The thinner the circuit line width, the higher the performance of the semiconductor, but the difficulty and cost of manufacturing will also increase. According to TSMC’s previous point, compared with the current most sophisticated 5-nanometer chip, its computing performance is increased by 10-15%, and power consumption can be reduced by 25-30%.

According to several sources, both Apple and Intel are testing TSMC’s 3nm process, and the fastest chip production time will fall in the second half of next year to early next year. The first Apple product with a 3-nanometer process will be the iPad. As for the iPhone to be launched next year, due to the mass production schedule, it will use 4-nanometer technology between 5 nanometers and 3 nanometers.

It is understood that Intel has opened at least two or more 3 nanometer cases, including personal computers and central processing units in data centers. Intel in the past few years due to its semiconductor production process delays, including the United States by competitors AMD Semiconductor (AMD) and Nvidia (Nvidia) take away market share. According to industry sources, Intel is the first to adopt TSMC’s 3-nanometer process ahead of its competitors. In terms of technological leadership, it may be able to regain its lost market share and at the same time buy time for itself to become a leader in wafer manufacturing technology again. Intel’s CEO once stated that his company’s relationship with TSMC is both competition and cooperation.

For Intel, which is independently designed and manufactured, the cooperation with TSMC will play a transitional role before self-research is on track. Intel’s self-manufactured 7-nanometer chip mass production time has been postponed to 2023, lagging behind TSMC and South Korea’s Samsung Electronics . The mass production schedule of the latest server CPUs using 10 nanometer technology will be postponed from the end of 2021 to the second quarter of 2022.

In an interview with Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Intel said that in its 2023 product plan, it does have CPU products produced in cooperation with TSMC, but it did not mention the manufacturing technology used. TSMC said it would not comment on the plans of individual customers, and Apple did not respond to requests for comment.

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