Last week, the Taiwanese Semiconductor Manufacturing Company’s (TSMC) CEO, CC Wei, confirmed that it’s now making SoCs based on the 7nm process. He also said that the company will soon move on to mass producing chipsets based on the 5nm process, probably by the end of next year or by early 2020. As Apple’s upcoming iPhones are said to be equipped with the A12 processor based on 7nm architecture and this will be one of the major growth factors for TSMC’s production growth this year, claims a Digitimes report.
As per the report, TSMC already has orders for 7nm SoCs from 20 companies. Some of the prominent companies are AMD, Nvidia and Qualcomm and the report states that most of these orders will be run in the first half of 2019. TSMC will also have 50 chip designs drawn-up for 7nm chipsets by the end of 2018 and most of them will be for GPU, cryptocurrency, AI, and 5G chips. The heavy demand and subsequent production ramp-up are said to boost TSMC’s overall capacity by 9.5%, up from 10.5 million units in 2017 to 12 million 12-inch wafers in 2018.
As per Wei, TSMC will also start risk production of chips using an enhanced 7nm node with Extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUV) in the second half of 2018. The UEV process helps in designing more accurate wafers in a lesser amount of time, alongside helping in creating more energy efficient and powerful chips. For the 5nm node, the company is expected to commence risk production in the first half of 2019, followed by mass production at the end of the year or in early 2020.