TSMC inaugurates its new factory for the chips of the future

TSMC inaugurates its new factory for the chips of the future
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. this week held a grand opening ceremony for its new manufacturing facility at Southern Taiwan Science Park near Tainan. The factory is expected to begin mass production of chips using N3 process technology in the second half of 2022.

TSMC began building the plant in late October 2019. The company will begin to transfer equipment over the next few months and the factory will be completed in 1-1.5 years from that time. Mark Liu, president of TSMC, said at the ceremony that the plant will have a production capacity of approximately 55,000 300mm wafers per month (WSPM) using the 3N manufacturing process when it becomes fully operational in the second half of 2022. br>
The company was allowed to begin construction in 2018 and, at the time, the cost was estimated at $ 19.5 billion. However, as TSMC usually builds so-called "gigafabs" (semiconductor manufacturing facilities with a production capacity of over 100,000 WSPMs), this is likely to be the first phase of a major project.

TSMC manages already the Fab 14 and Fab 18 production plants (which have yet to be fully built), where around 15,000 people are employed, at the Southern Taiwan Science Park near Tainan, so the new plant will complete the work. After Fab 18 is fully built and the new facility becomes operational, the number of TSMC employees in the Tainan area will increase to approximately 20,000.

Read also: Nvidia production from TSMC in 2021, RTX 30 Super series o Hopper architecture coming?

TSMC's N3 manufacturing process will utilize FinFET transistor structures and is designed for component fabrication for both the mobile and high-performance markets. The 3nm manufacturing technology promises to provide a performance increase of up to 15% (with the same power and number of transistors), a power reduction of up to 30% (with the same clock and complexity) and a higher logic density up to to 70%. The new node is said to use "extreme ultraviolet lithography" (EUVL) up to "over 20 layers", a method not used by any other production process until now.

Earlier this month it was it emerged that TSMC had placed a large order for ASML's Twinscan NXE extreme ultraviolet (EUV) scanners that will surely be used in this new production facility.

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