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TSMC Responds to Reports of Slippage in Advanced Chipmaking Technology

TSMC Responds to Reports of Slippage in Advanced Chipmaking Technology
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Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) has responded to reports claiming that its pioneering 3 nanometer (nm) chip fabrication process technology is suffering from delays. Reports from research companies TrendForce and Isaiah Research earlier today indicated that TSMC’s 3nm process will encounter delays, affecting the company’s partnership with US chip giant Intel Corporation, which has been suffering from manufacturing issues for several years.

TSMC’s response has been standardized as the company declined to comment on customer orders and stated that production technology was progressing on schedule.

TSMC Highlights Capacity Expansion Plans Are Included After Hiccups Reports

The two reports were the latest in a series of news that cast doubt on TSMC’s 3nm production plans. The first news came earlier this year. rumor at the beginningand subsequently confirmed that Korean chipmaker Samsung Foundry will begin 3nm production before TSMC.

TSMC’s president, Dr. C.C. Wei’s company Start manufacturing 3nm chips in the second half of this year. TSMC strives to continue the technological prowess that has made it the world’s largest contract chip maker.

TrendForce’s report He shared that the firm believes the delay in 3nm production for Intel will hurt TSMC’s capital expenditures as it could cut spending in 2023. It also didn’t hesitate to put some of the blame on Intel, claiming that the published design was initially. caused production to jump from 2H 2022 to 1H 2023 – which has now been delayed to late 2023.

This has impacted TSMC’s capacity utilization forecasts – and the firm is wary of capacity being idle as it struggles to procure 3nm orders. TrendForce also shared that Apple will be the first 3nm TSMC customer with products to be released next year, and AMD, MediaTek and Qualcomm will mass-produce 3nm products in 2024.

A 5nm AMD CPU built by TSMC.

Isaiah Research was more candid about the characteristics of the delay, as it shared the number of wafers expected to be produced initially and the supposed drop after delay. Isaiah stated that TSMC originally planned to produce 15,000 to 20,000 3nm wafers per month by the end of 2023, but now that has been reduced to 5,000 to 10,000 wafers per month.

However, addressing concerns about remaining spare capacity due to reduction, the research firm remained optimistic, pointing out that the majority of equipment (80%) is interchangeable for advanced manufacturing processes such as 5 nanometers and 3 nanometers, implying that TSMC retains it. the ability to use it for other customers.

TSMC’s response to the entire incident, which was sent to Taiwanese publication United Daily News, was short-lived with the firm. stating that:

“TSMC is not commenting on individual clients’ business. The company’s capacity expansion project is progressing as planned.”

The semiconductor industry, which is currently facing a historic downturn due to demand and supply mismatches in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, has been considering cutting capacity and capital expenditures for some time. Chinese foundries have lowered their average selling price (ASPs) and chipmakers in Taiwan have started offering different prices for different nodes to ensure that demand does not decrease.

But TSMC has not made such a statement, and the problem of balancing capacity drops with an increase in demand remains a challenge for chipmakers, especially for newer products, as they risk spending too much on idle machines and other machines at one end. the other reduces revenue capture in the case of demand picking.

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