The world’s largest contract manufacturer for chips, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) has begun pilot production of 3-nanometer chips and expects to be producing them in volume at the end of 2022.
According to DigiTimes, TSMC has kicked off pilot production of chips built using N3 (namely 3nm process technology) at its Fab 18 in southern Taiwan.
Currently, Apple uses TSMC’s 5nm processors for the M1 chips, and it is expected that TSMC’s 3nm processors will power the next generation of Apple Silicon.
Compared with the 5nm process, the 3nm gate-all-around (GAA) node boosts performance by 30 percent, lowers power consumption by 50 percent, and takes up 35 percent less space.
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Meanwhile, the companies have announced jointly, TSMC is teaming up with Sony on its new $7 billion chip factory in Japan.
The new plant, as had been previously announced, will focus not on cutting edge chips but rather older 22nm and 28nm processes in an effort to meet supply shortfalls for older chips which have steadily impacted everything from cars to smartphones.
The new factory had previously been announced in October by TSMC CEO C.C. Wei, although at the time, it had yet to be approved by TSMC’s board of directors.
The board has now approved the new factory under a new subsidiary, Japan Advanced Semiconductor Manufacturing, Inc. (JASM).