Who will be the first to mass produce 2nm semiconductors: TSMC, Samsung, or Intel?

It is said that processing performance and power efficiency will improve as semiconductors become smaller. At the time of writing, TSMC has succeeded in mass producing semiconductors using the 3nm process rule and 3nm chips are beginning to be installed in consumer products, but semiconductor manufacturing companies are already conducting research and development toward mass production using the 2nm process rule. We are. Therefore, we have summarized the current state of miniaturization at major semiconductor manufacturing companies TSMC, Samsung, and Intel, as well as the development status of each company as reported by the financial newspaper Financial Times.

Semiconductor giants race to make next generation of cutting-edge chips

TSMC has successfully mass-produced semiconductors using the 3nm process rule, and at the time of writing, is shipping 3nm chips to Apple. TSMC is also contracted to manufacture Intel's chips, and it was expected that the manufacturing of 3nm chips would be outsourced to TSMC in 2023, but in September 2023, ``Due to delays in Intel's design, It is reported that it will be difficult to order 3nm chip manufacturing within 2023. For this reason, it is expected that the only TSMC 3nm chips that will be on the market in 2023 will be the SoC ``A17 Pro'' installed by Apple in the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max, and the SoC ``M3'' series for Mac.

Apple may become ``the only manufacturer that has TSMC manufacture 3nm chips'' within 2023 - GIGAZINE

TSMC is proceeding with development with the aim of starting mass production of semiconductors using the 2nm process rule in the second half of 2025, and reported in October 2023 that development was progressing smoothly. According to information obtained by the overseas media Financial Times from related parties, TSMC has already provided prototypes of 2nm chips to partner companies such as Apple and NVIDIA.

``Intel is not a big threat,'' says the founder of Taiwanese semiconductor maker TSMC, also revealing that 2nm process development is progressing smoothly - GIGAZINE

Samsung will begin manufacturing semiconductors using the 3nm process rule in July 2022. However, according to a person close to Samsung, the yield of Samsung's 3nm chips is about 60%, and it is not achieving the yield desired by customers. Samsung admits that it has a two to three year R&D delay compared to TSMC.

Samsung declares that it will catch up with TSMC within 5 years - GIGAZINE

Samsung aims to overturn TSMC with the 2nm generation, and has already provided 'prototypes of inexpensive 2nm chips' to partner companies including NVIDIA.

Intel is far behind TSMC and Samsung in terms of process nodes, and plans to start mass production of the 5nm process rule 'Intel 20A' in the first half of 2024. The Financial Times pointed out that Intel and Samsung see an opportunity to benefit from potential customers who want to reduce their dependence on Taiwan's TSMC due to geopolitical risks.

Intel completes development of process rules 'Intel 20A' and 'Intel 18A' aiming for the most advanced in the industry - GIGAZINE

by Jernej Furman

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