Forward-looking: TSMC continues to push the boundaries of chipmaking as others are struggling to master current-gen processes. That's good news for TSMC and its clients and hopefully, it'll push the competition to step their game up.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) has gained approval from China’s Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) to build the world’s first 3-nanometer manufacturing facility.

According to a report from Taiwan News, the factory will be built on the same site as TSMC’s 5-nanometer production facility – within the Southern Taiwan Science Park in Tainan. Construction on the project, which will reportedly set TSMC back NT$600 billion (around $19.5 billion), will begin in 2022.

The first chips could roll off the assembly lines later that year or in early 2023.

The 5-nm facility, meanwhile, is on track to be up and running by the end of next year or in early 2020.

TSMC’s biggest customers include Apple, Qualcomm, Huawei and Google, among others.

In order to gain approval for the project, the world’s largest contract semiconductor manufacturing company had to convince the EPA that it would be a green affair. According to TSMC, the factory will be run on 20 percent renewable energy while half of its water usage will come from recycled sources.

The only bad news, per se, is that consumer devices featuring TSMC’s efficient silicon are still several years out.

Lead photo courtesy fotografos via Shutterstock