TSMC has let it be known that the 2nm manufacturing node will most likely be ready by 2023. 9to5Mac reports this, noting that the announcement comes right after Intel promised manufacturing process and packaging innovations for the next round of product launches between now and 2025 and beyond. TSMC executives will probably be smiling after Intel’s announcement, a company that has long been forced to chase competing foundries, and whose executives have also taken it upon themselves(Apple included, if Cupertino still wanted to deal with them) to provide third-party services with Intel Foundry Services (IFS).
If in the past the fight between chip manufacturers was fought in MegaHertz, since a few years, with the increasing popularity of mobile devices, the fight has moved into the field of nanometers, a unit of measurement of the size of the billions of transistors that make up any CPU. When we read about production processes at 14, 10, 7, 5 nm and even more, the reference is to the size of the transistors. The smaller the nanometers, the more space you have to fit transistors; going from 14 to 7nm, for example, you can fit the same number of transistors in half the space. And the more transistors you put in a CPU, the more computing power you can get. Another advantage of miniaturization is in energy consumption: the smaller the transistors, the less current is needed to operate them, a key element with smartphones, tablets but also notebooks increasingly “thirsty” for power and energy.
The A14 chip that Apple uses in the iPhone 12 was the industry’s first 5-nanometer chip; its evolved components are literally a few atoms in size. It has 40% more transistors than the previous generation and a whopping 11.8 billion transistors.
The SoC (System on a Chip) of the iPhone 13 that should arrive before the end of the year, should still use 5nm technology, while on the iPhone 14 next year we should see the first chips with 4nm technology. For 2023 TSMC reportedly plans to create chips with 3nm. What makes it even more interesting is the possibility to reduce even the costs; the smaller the transistors, the less expensive it is to produce CPUs: since we use less valuable and expensive materials from the same production lines can come out more CPUs at the same time.
<img src=”https://www.macitynet.en/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/TSMC1200.jpg 1200w, https://www.macitynet.it/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/TSMC1200-480×330.jpg 480w, https://www.macitynet.it/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/TSMC1200-100×70.jpg 100w, https://www.macitynet.it/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/TSMC1200-218×150.jpg 218w, https://www.macitynet.it/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/TSMC1200-696×479.jpg 696w, https://www.macitynet.it/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/TSMC1200-1068×735.jpg 1068w, https://www.macitynet.it/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/TSMC1200-610×420.jpg 610w” alt=”A12 processor in new iPhones is in production” width=”1200″ height=”826″ />
The Nikkei Asia website reports some rumors about plans for TSMC’s 2nm node, explaining that production tests will start in 2023, paving the way for possible use on future iPhone 14s in 2024. The dedicated 2nm chip and SoC manufacturing facility will be in Hsinchu, Taiwan, where TSMC’s most important chip manufacturing center is located. The Environmental Review Committee, an intergovernmental and academic regulatory body, has approved the Taiwanese company’s plan, paving the way to start construction of the plant by early 2022 and prepare for the installation of production facilities by 2023.
TSMC’s plant will be located in the rural town of Baoshan (in Hsinchu County, northwest of the island), occupy about 50 acres (20 hectares) and require 98,000 tons of water per day, about 50% of what TSMC consumed in 2020. The manufacturer has promised the use of 10% recycled water by 2025 and plans to reach 100% reused water by 2030. Recall that TSMC has planned new production facilities in the U.S. (in Arizona), plants where, probably, Apple’s future Ax and Mx series chips will also be produced.