TSMC has announced that they have started manufacturing 3nm chips in their facilities in Taiwan. Earlier this month, the chip manufacturing giant and Apple CEO Tim Cook introduced its upcoming chip plant in Arizona, which will also use the new manufacturing node.
According to Focus Taiwan, TSMC is hosting a party today to honor the beginning of 3nm process chip mass manufacturing in Taiwan. The company’s “Fab 18” factory, located in Tainan’s Southern Taiwan Science Park, will begin producing the newest and most advanced chip yet.
Analysts have commented that a celebration of this sort is a little odd, given Taiwan’s culture and that of TSMC. However, I think the company is hoping it helps with concerns about its recent investments in the US. Those plans recently tripled from $12 billion to $40 billion for its Arizona facilities.
The idea is that the celebrations will allay all fears of TSMC leaving Taiwan and permanently setting up base in the US. Ever since Joe Biden’s administration roped in TSMC to set up a production plan in the US, investors in Taiwan and Taiwanese authorities have been worried that TSMC may do most of their crucial designing in the US.
With the ceremony, TSMC hopes to publicize its intention to keep using Taiwan as the significant hub where its engineers do all the research, development, and critical production, despite its overseas investments.
TSMC beginning to produce 3nm chips is particularly significant for Apple and several other smartphone manufacturers. Apple currently calls its A16 a 4nm chip, although TSMC considers it an enhanced 5nm chip. The first 3nm chips to arrive in Apple products are expected to be Macs with the M2 Pro and Max in 2023. The new manufacturing node will bring massive power efficiency and a lot more performance in the upcoming Macs with the M2 Pro and M2 Max in 2023.
TSMC’s Arizona plants will eventually produce 3nm chips (after starting with 4nm), but the company’s Taiwan plants are expected to have the leading-edge tech first. 2nm mass production is scheduled to begin as soon as 2025.