Apple Supplier TSMC Readies 2nm Chips for 2024

Apple chip supplier TSMC is planning to manufacture chips with a 2nm fabrication process by 2024, according to Nikkei Asia.

tsmc semiconductor chip inspection 678x452
TSMC plans to build a new factory on 50 acres of land for two-nanometer chips in Hsinchu, Taiwan, scheduled to begin manufacturing operations in 2024. Construction has been cleared to begin in early 2022, with equipment being installed in 2023.

For context, if Apple continues with its current naming system for its custom silicon chips, we may tentatively expect the first 2nm Apple chips to be the "A18" or the "M5." While there have not been any reports of Apple planning to move to a 2nm process yet, it seems inevitable that the company will do so in tandem with TSMC since it is Apple's sole processor supplier with an expansive manufacturing capacity.

TSMC's manufacturing capabilities are also considerably more advanced than rival companies like Intel, which have been mired by delays and stagnation with older manufacturing processes, enabling Apple, as a major TSMC client, to maintain a competitive edge with its custom silicon chips. Earlier this week, Intel announced plans to make chips for Qualcomm.

The A14 and M1 chip debuted in devices last year and were Apple's first chips to be manufactured with a 5nm fabrication process. Apple is believed to have already booked an order with TSMC for 4nm custom silicon chips, which are due to begin production this year, ahead of the supplier offering 3nm chips from 2022. 2nm chips in 2024 would be another progression of this miniaturization process.

TSMC is undergoing a rapid global expansion to meet demand, building a 5nm chip facility in Arizona and expanding its 28nm factory in Nanjing, China, while also weighing up the possibility of opening new factories in Japan and Germany.

Tags: Nikkei, TSMC

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Top Rated Comments

farewelwilliams Avatar
39 months ago
intel: "stop it!!!!!!!!!!!"
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
transpo1 Avatar
39 months ago

Given global warming is causing droughts in Taiwan right now, today, why in the world would building a 50 acre complex that consumes even more water be considered a good idea?
I think they have to branch out and build factories elsewhere, like in Japan or Germany as the article said, or preferably more manufacturing in the U.S.

The drought is concerning but more concerning to me is the threat that China poses to Taiwan.

The issue is, they have a skilled workforce to tap into in Taiwan, so building elsewhere is probably a heavy lift for that reason.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
apparatchik Avatar
39 months ago
TSMC has one very clear advantage over Intel: they actually deliver what they announce.

Intel can announce a sub-1nm fab design/process by 2023, they can announce basically whatever they want, truth is confidence on delivery is very-low at the moment and has been for some time.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
icwhatudidthere Avatar
39 months ago

2nm is only 20 hydrogen atoms or around 5-8 silicon atoms across. When do they reach smallest possible size?
The thing is these naming schemes aren't really connected to physical characteristics any more, they're just marketing speak.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DevNull0 Avatar
39 months ago
2nm is only 20 hydrogen atoms or around 5-8 silicon atoms across. When do they reach smallest possible size?
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cmaier Avatar
39 months ago

A few years ago I read an article in which it said that you can't go smaller than 2nm. Seems not to be the case then.
It’s certainly not the case. That said, nothing will be 2nm in size on this process.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)