TSMC is building the world's first 3nm semiconductor facility in Taiwan

midian182

TechSpot Editor
Staff member

Last year brought reports that major chip firm Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) planned to roll out 5nm designs as early as the first half of 2020. But the company is now looking beyond that point by constructing a semiconductor plant able to build the world’s first 3nm fab.

There had been speculation that incentives offered by the Donald Trump administration could encourage TSMC to build its new facility in the US, but it has now confirmed that the plant will be located in Tiawan's Tainan Science Park alongside the majority of its other operations. This will allow it to "fully leverage the company's existing cluster advantage and the benefit of a comprehensive supply chain," reports DigiTimes.

TSMC last year said it planned for the 3nm fab to be operational by 2022 as public hearings over the potential environmental impacts were slowing the process down. There's no word on any new timeframe, but this date could be brought forward now that the Taiwanese government has committed to resolving the issues.

“TSMC recognizes and is grateful for the (Taiwan) government’s clear commitments to resolve any issues, including land, water, electricity and environmental protection,” the statement said.

The company already operates a 5nm fab at the Tainan Science Park and says it’s scheduled to start risk production of these chips in the second quarter of 2019.

Back in June, IBM’s Research Alliance in partnership with GlobalFoundries and Samsung made a breakthrough in transistor design that paves the way for densely packed 5nm chips. The researchers moved away from the FinFET (Fin Field Effect Transistor) process in favor of a "Gate All Around" field-effect transistor (GAAFET) setup that uses horizontally layered silicon nanosheets. For its own 5nm chips, however, TSMC is sticking with FinFET.

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misor

TS Evangelist
Holy Cow! Now that Moore's Law is 'dead', perhaps it is time to introduce Less Law. Less(ons) Law states that there must be no prediction of future tech outcome by some silly tech laws.
 
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senketsu

Just a different correction, it should be Republic of China (which is located on the island of Taiwan). No reason to give in to the mainland.
incentives from the Trump administration = public tax dollars supporting for profit business, unfortunate
 

Footlong

TS Addict
I don't get why people actually believed Donald Trump incentive would move their production to the US. Chip manufacturing is not labour intensive and requires tech and infrastructure that no US state has to do so.

PS: Taiwan was misspelled Tiawan.
 

mbrowne5061

TS Evangelist
Holy Cow! Now that Moore's Law is 'dead', perhaps it is time to introduce Less Law. Less(ons) Law states that there must be no prediction of future tech outcome by some silly tech laws.
You won't see chips go under 3nm. Beyond that, and you can no longer correct for the rate of electron tunneling through the chip itself. It's not a 'technology' or even a 'material' limit, but a subatomic physical limit.
 

BadThad

TS Booster
Just a different correction, it should be Republic of China (which is located on the island of Taiwan). No reason to give in to the mainland.
incentives from the Trump administration = public tax dollars supporting for profit business, unfortunate
Kind of like Obama dishing out BILLIONS to now bankrupt solar companies? I trust a proven business leaders judgement far and above the community organizer and worst president in history.
 

Endarial

TS Booster
Just a different correction, it should be Republic of China (which is located on the island of Taiwan). No reason to give in to the mainland.
incentives from the Trump administration = public tax dollars supporting for profit business, unfortunate
Not really understanding your "correction"? Saying it should be Republic of China, located on the island of Taiwan, so as not to give in to the mainland doesn't really seem to make sense. If Taiwan was allowed, it'd declare independence and then no longer need to deal with the ROC moniker.
 
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senketsu

Just a different correction, it should be Republic of China (which is located on the island of Taiwan). No reason to give in to the mainland.
incentives from the Trump administration = public tax dollars supporting for profit business, unfortunate
Not really understanding your "correction"? Saying it should be Republic of China, located on the island of Taiwan, so as not to give in to the mainland doesn't really seem to make sense. If Taiwan was allowed, it'd declare independence and then no longer need to deal with the ROC moniker.
Republic of China is independent. Mainland China is the People's Republic of China. The mainland communists call themselves the real China and so they have pressured the rest of the world to call the Republic of China by the name of Taiwan, which is actually the name of the island and not of the state. Mainland China would invade and take the island in a heartbeat if the West wouldn't get involved.
 

Endarial

TS Booster
Republic of China is independent. Mainland China is the People's Republic of China. The mainland communists call themselves the real China and so they have pressured the rest of the world to call the Republic of China by the name of Taiwan, which is actually the name of the island and not of the state. Mainland China would invade and take the island in a heartbeat if the West wouldn't get involved.
You are correct, China would invade if they could. They do also pressure other countries to cut ties with Taiwan and not allow them to join in groups such as the WHO. When Taiwan wishes to participate in sporting events, China requires them to take part under the name Chinese Taipei. Typical bully tactics.

The KMT, who used to be the ruling party in China, before being defeated by the communists and fleeing to Taiwan, are a pro-reunification party. They would like to reunite with China to form one country. The DPP on the other hand, who is currently in power, is pro-independent. If they were able to declare Taiwan an independent nation, they would do so under the name Taiwan, NOT Republic of China.
 
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Endarial

TS Booster
I'll take your word for it @Endarial you demonstrate you know more about this than I do. Thanks for filling me in.
Sorry for going on about this. Normally I don't go on silly rants like this, but after not being able to sleep, I ended up getting cranky and posting at 6am.

I apologize and hope I didn't come across sounding like a douche.

Besides, tech forums are not really the place for things like this and I shall try not to go off on a tangent in the future.
 
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senketsu

@Endarial, I appreciate you took the time to reply, no need to apologize, the posts were fine. Again, I appreciated it.