TSMC is responding to reports of inconsistencies in advanced chip manufacturing technology


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The Taiwanese semiconductor manufacturer (TSMC) has responded to reports claiming that its breakthrough 3nm chip manufacturing technology is suffering from delays. Reports from research firms TrendForce and Isaiah Research indicated today that TSMC’s 3nm process will face delays and affect the company’s partnership with US chip giant Intel Corp., which itself has struggled with manufacturing issues for several years.

TSMC’s response was assessed as the company declined to comment on customer inquiries, saying manufacturing technology was on track.

TSMC insists capacity expansion plans are on track after reports of hiccups

Both reports are the latest in a series of news that cast doubt on TSMC’s 3nm manufacturing plans. The first news came earlier this year when it did The first rumorThen confirmed that Korean chipmaker Samsung Foundry will start 3nm production before TSMC.

TSMC President Dr. CC Wei has made it clear that his company will do so Start making 3nm chips In the second half of this year. TSMC strives to maintain the technological prowess that has made it the world’s largest chipmaker.

Trendforce report He reported that the company believes the delay in 3nm production for Intel will affect TSMC’s capital spending as it could reduce spending in 2023. It also hasn’t been shy about blaming Intel, claiming that the released design was originally from the second half of 2022 to the first half of 2023 – which has now been pushed back to late 2023.

That, in turn, has affected TSMC’s capacity utilization estimates — and the company is wary of sitting idle while it scrambles to buy 3nm orders. TrendForce also announced that Apple will be the first 3nm TSMC customer – with products launching next year, AMD, MediaTek and Qualcomm will produce 3nm products in 2024.

AMD 5nm CPU manufactured by TSMC.

Isaiah Research was more responsive with delay details, initially sharing the number of chips expected and the drop after the alleged delay. Isaiah explained that TSMC originally planned to produce 15,000 to 20,000 3nm wafers per month by the end of 2023, but that has now been scaled back to 5,000 to 10,000 wafers per month.

However, to allay concerns about excess capacity remaining due to declines, the research firm was optimistic, noting that most equipment (80%) is interchangeable for advanced manufacturing processes such as 5nm and 3nm, meaning TSMC has the ability to do so. Reserve for use by other customers.

TSMC’s response to the entire issue, sent to Taiwanese magazine United Daily News, was brief for the company. say that:

“TSMC does not comment on retail business. The company’s capacity expansion project is progressing as planned.”

The semiconductor industry, which is currently facing a historic downturn due to a supply-demand mismatch amid the coronavirus pandemic, has been considering capacity cuts and investments for some time. Chinese foundries have cut average selling prices (ASPs), and Taiwanese chipmakers have started offering different prices for different batches to avoid flagging demand.

However, TSMC has not made any such announcement and the issue of reduced capacity with increased demand, especially for new products, remains a thorn in the side of chipmakers as they risk overspending on idle machines and, on the other hand, reduce revenue generation in case of increased demand.

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