Morris Chang, the founder of TSMC, announced today that the supplier to Apple will produce 3-nanometer chips at its Arizona facility, though concrete plans still need to be made. The facility is presently under development, and production is scheduled to start in 2024.
According to Reuters, Chang stated during a press conference in Taipei that “three-nanometer, TSMC right now has a blueprint, but it has not been entirely finalized.” However, phase two at the exact Arizona location is almost complete.
According to TSMC’s website, their 3-nanometer technology, known as N3, will be a full node step up from its 5-nanometer technology and will increase logic density by up to 70%, speed by up to 15% at the same power, and power by up to 30% at the same speed. In the second half of this year, volume technology is the aim.
TSMC, the largest foundry in the world, produces the majority of the most cutting-edge chips. One of Taiwan’s main advantages against China, which views Taiwan as a colony, is the dominance of its semiconductor businesses (TSMC’s competitors include Foxconn). Still, as global chip shortages impede electronics production, it raises concerns about the supply chain’s dependency.
The TSMC factory in Arizona and a second one, apparently in the planning stages, are both a part of the Biden administration’s effort to support American chip manufacturing. Additionally, TSMC is constructing a facility in Japan and negotiating to construct another in Germany.
Samsung Electronics is one of the other foundries working on 3-nanometer chips; it began manufacturing them in June, before TSMC. The South Korean tech powerhouse’s Hwaseong and Pyeongtaek semiconductor plants produce 3-nanometer devices. In addition to constructing a semiconductor plant in Texas, Samsung announced last year that it would invest 171 trillion KRW ($132 billion) in its logic chip and foundry businesses by 2030.