TSMC gets green light on 2nm fab, plans to have it operational in 2024


Posts: 1,243   +24
Staff member
The big picture: Just days after Intel said it was optimistic about retaking process technology leadership by 2025, TSMC comes with an announcement that casts some doubt on that possibility. Competition in the semiconductor industry is heating up, and is even leading to odd partnerships where Intel is going to make chips for Qualcomm, while TSMC is racing to beat Samsung on the way to making 2nm chips.

This week, Intel offered more insights into its strategy to catch up with the rest of the semiconductor industry in terms of process technology, as well as the role played by the new Intel Foundry Services branch in achieving that goal. Unfortunately for Intel, who is hoping to catch up and then surpass the likes of TSMC, GlobalFoundries, Samsung, and others by 2025, this uphill battle looks increasingly difficult as time goes on.

Today, Nikkei reports that TSMC is planning to build a 2nm chip fab in Hsinchu, one of Taiwan's big chip manufacturing centers.

The company on Wednesday received the green light from the country's Environmental Review Committee to begin construction in early 2022. The second phase where the foundry equipment is installed could start as early as 2023.

The new facility will occupy 50 acres of land in the Hsinchu Science Park and is expected to start manufacturing 2nm chips in 2024. TSMC will gradually ramp up production as demand for the new process node grows, but the typical target for a GigaFab is 100,000 wafer starts per month.

TSMC also has plans for a second 2nm GigaFab that could be established in Kaohsiung, at the Ciaotou Science and Industrial Park. The secret sauce of TSMC's N2 process technology is the use of gate-all-around (GAA) transistors, but the company is not yet prepared to reveal more details.

A more pressing problem is the water need of the new Baoshan facility, which is expected to use no less than 98,000 tons of water on a daily basis. To that end, TSMC set a goal to use 10 percent recycled water by 2025 and 100 percent reused water by 2030.

In the meantime, the construction of TSMC's N5 facility in Arizona is underway, as is the expansion of its 28nm fab in Nanjing, China. Additionally, the company is evaluating building more fabs in Germany and Japan.

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Posts: 1,310   +956
Interesting metric for water in weight tonnes not volume - well 1 litre equals 1 kg .
Well much better that's 700 Blue whales of water per day or 39 Olympic swimming pools


Posts: 1,577   +2,916
Interesting metric for water in weight tonnes not volume - well 1 litre equals 1 kg .
Well much better that's 700 Blue whales of water per day or 39 Olympic swimming pools

Taiwan like nearly everyone else in the world is largely metric so it is even better when you realise that it was quoted in 'tons' and not 'tonnes', which are not the same thing.

A 'ton' in the USA is 907kg, but a metric tonne (which is the sensible one) is 1000kg. In the USA you must use the words 'metric ton' or tonne if you want to write it as SI, this presser does neither.

USA not being metric amuses everyone else on the planet. Especially when you crash a 200 million dollar spacecraft because of poor SI unit conversions.
I'm not well versed in the process, so I'm curious as to why the fabs use so much water? With such high water demands, it seems like Arizona wouldn't be an ideal location considering its decades long drought.


Posts: 772   +203
I don't see how ANYTHING electronic could be just 2nm?

At the bare minimum, you have a positive connector, a "transistor", and a negative connector. That's a minimum of 3 atoms/3nm. Intel is *already* having trouble reproducing 7nm chips w/o "leakage".

Whatever they're developing, it's definitely NOT just 2nm.