Who was the first customer of TSMC’s 3nm process?

🟩 Apple and Intel

Apple and Intel will be the first to adopt the next-generation process for TSM.

Apple and Intel become first to adopt TSMC’s latest chip techTaiwanese company remains vital partner for American tech giaasia.nikkei.com

Apple is likely to say that the first product in its 3nm process will be the iPad tablet. Intel is also designing processors with the TSMC3nm to recoup for market share lost to competitors such as AMD. Products using the 3nm process will begin production in the second half of 2022 and are expected to hit the market in the first quarter of 2023. Intel says it plans to have more chips than Apple, with Intel initially being the largest customer.

🟩What is TSMC’s 3nm process?

The 3nm process is a next-generation semiconductor manufacturing technology being developed by TSMC. The process of semiconductors is the width of the line of time. Generally, the lower the nm number, the better the performance and energy efficiency of chips of the same size. The latest process as of 2021 is the 5nm process, which has been in mass production since 2020.


Start of risk production of TSMC 3nm process

TSMC is planning to start risk-based production of the 3nm process within a few weeks. If so, Apple and Intel, the first customers, should already have 3nm CPU and SoC samples available. After testing, mass production is scheduled for the second half of 2022.

Improved performance of 3nm processes

TSMC’s 3nm process improves computing performance by 10~15% and power consumption by 25~30% compared to today’s state-of-the-art 5nm process.

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🟩 Apple from “iPad” instead of “iPhone”

The iPhone, which is scheduled to be released in 2022, seems to adopt a 4nm process of 5nm performance improvement process. The 3nm process may not meet the iPhone’s requirements in terms of production capacity and energy efficiency, so the safer 4nm process was chosen. Therefore, the iPad became the first product of the 3nm process. In addition, the M2 chip used in the next-generation Mac is being developed using the same 3nm process.

🟩 Intel outsources core product manufacturing to TSMC

Intel has lagged behind in the development of its own advanced processes, far behind TSMC and Samsung Electronics. The partnership with rival TSMC is planned to be a bridge until in-house manufacturing gets back on track. However, Intel acknowledged that it is working with TSMC on the 23-year product range, but did not say which manufacturing technology it will employ.

Intel’s 7nm process from 2023

In March 2020, Intel announced that it would begin manufacturing its own 7nm processors for client PCs and high-end servers using proprietary 7nm manufacturing technology from 2023 using Meteor Lake and Granite Rapids.


The first customers of the TSMC 3nm process are Apple and Intel

Intel will outsource its core products to rival TSMC, but plans to rebuild its own manufacturing structure in the meantime. Intel CPU rival AMD also adopts TSMC’s process, so you can’t miss the rivalry trend.

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