Last month, we came to know that TSMC had started R&D on the futuristic 2nm process node at its Hsinchu facility in Taiwan. The company has now revealed that the mass production of its 5nm process nodes will start as early as the first half of 2020.
During a Q&A session at the company’s investors conference, TSMC CEO CC Wei said that the company has become “a little bit more aggressive” on the 5nm production ramp-up, reports Digitimes. Wei added that TSMC’s foundry division is “on track to move the node to volume production in the first half of 2020”. Wei further added that he believed “an acceleration in the worldwide 5G development will lead to an increase in demand for TSMC’s 5nm and 7nm processes”.
The fact that TSMC will begin mass production of the 5nm process nodes in the first half of 2020 proves that the first 5nm chips will hit shelves by this time next year. The latest news also reaffirms an earlier report that 2020 iPhones from Apple will be powered by TSMC’s 5nm process chipsets. This chipset will likely be labelled as Apple’s A14 Bionic, considering that the Cupertino company launched the A12 Bionic chipset last year and might also announce a new A13 Bionic chip later this year which already hit production in May 2019.
Rather than going face-first into the 5nm process technology, TSMC is also said to be expanding the 7nm capacity to meet growing demand including those from 5D device manufacturers. The company recently started the mass production of the 7nm+ process chips using a EUV lithography process which is expected to hit the next line of high-end phones from Apple and Huawei.
While TSMC was the first to mass-produce 7nm chipsets, the Taiwanese company has now been heavily competing against Samsung. It was Samsung Electronics which recently earned the rights to make Qualcomm’s upcoming Snapdragon 865 high-end chipset for Android flagship phones of next year. TSMC was also ditched by long-term client NVIDIA who confirmed earlier this month that it had selected Samsung to manufacture its next-generation graphics processors.