TSMC Founder Says Arizona Plant to Produce 3-Nanometer Chips

TSMC Arizona Plant to Produce 3-Nanometer Chips

Recent opinions suggested Apple’s pledge to source chips from the TSMC plant in Arizona were little more than marketing spin. After a statement by the Taiwanese chipmaker’s founder, those have less credibility. TSMC’s founder says the new Arizona plant will produce its 3-nanometer chips at the $12 billion facility.

TSMC Could Produce 3-Nanometer Chips for Newest Apple Products In Arizona

After Apple announced it would source some of its chips from the new TSMC plant in Arizona, some called it little more than marketing spin. The plant’s initial plans were only to include the 5-nanometer fabs. This led some critics to say the facility’s production wouldn’t be incorporated into newer Macs, iPhones or iPads.

However, that doesn’t seem to be the full truth of the matter. TSMC founder Morris Chang says plans are already underway to add 3-nanometer chip production to the same Arizona facility. Yes, it’s true that Chang has retired from TSMC. Nevertheless, he’s still very influential within the company and is often kept in the loop regarding future plans.

In an interview with Reuters, Chang pointed out the almost-finalized plans to produce 3-nanometer chips in Arizona.

Three-nanometre, TSMC right now has a plan, but it has not been completely finalised. It has almost been finalised – in the same Arizona site, phase two. Five-nanometre is phase one, 3-nanometre is phase two.

The Near Future of Apple Products Will Be Built on 3-Nanometer Chips

Right now, most flagship Apple products are built using 5-nanometer chips. As a refresher, the moniker “X-nanometer” refers to the distance between transistors on the semiconductor wafer. The smaller the number, the more transistors can be placed on the chip. Furthermore, the closer the transistors are to one another, the better the performance and power efficiency.

Apple’s A15 and A16 Bionic chips are built using 5-nanometer technology. So are the M1 and M2 SoCs for Mac products. However, the M3 chip for Macs as well as the A17 chip for 2023’s iPhone 15 Pro models are expected to use 3-nanometer technology. The upcoming M2 Pro SoC, expected to debut in the next update to the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models, may also use 3-nanometer chips.

TSMC says its 3-nanometer fab design will offer up to 70% more logic density, up to 15% faster speeds at the same power requirements and power reduction needs of up to 30% for processing speeds equivalent to the predecessor chips. If TSMC does, in fact, produce the A17, M2 Pro and M3 chips in Arizona, it could bolster the company’s supply chain diversification efforts.

One thought on “TSMC Founder Says Arizona Plant to Produce 3-Nanometer Chips

  • About 2 or 3 years ago, Tim Cook was reported of saying that chip production at the 5nm level was too technical for companies outside of China. Am I remembering correctly, or has something drastically changed?

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