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Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) has responded to reports claiming that its advanced 3 nanometer (nm) chip manufacturing technology is suffering from delays. Research firms TrendForce and Isaiah Research reported today that TSMC’s 3nm process will face delays and affect the company’s partnership with US chip giant Intel Corporation, which has been plagued by manufacturing problems for several years.
TSMC’s response was standard, as the company declined to comment on customer orders and said production technology was proceeding according to schedule.
TSMC emphasizes capacity expansion plans are on schedule after reports of hiccups
The two reports were the latest in a series of reports casting doubt on TSMC’s 3nm production plans. The first news came earlier this year first the rumors spreadand then confirmed that Korean chip maker Samsung Foundry will begin 3nm production ahead of TSMC.
Head of TSMC Dr. CC Wei announced that his company will Start manufacturing 3nm chips during the second half of this year. TSMC is trying to maintain the technological prowess that made it the world’s largest contract chip maker.
A report by TrendForce The company shared that it believes delaying 3-nanometer production for Intel will hurt TSMC’s capital spending, as it could result in cost cuts in 2023. He also didn’t hesitate to place some of the blame on Intel, claiming that the design was initially released. caused production to move from 2h 2022 to 1h 2023 – this has now been pushed back to late 2023.
That, in turn, has weighed on TSMC’s capacity utilization estimates — and fears it could be left idle as the firm struggles to land 3-nanometer orders. TrendForce also shared that Apple will be the first 3nm TSMC customer – products will be released next year, and AMD, MediaTek and Qualcomm will mass produce 3nm products in 2024.
Isaiah Research was more forthcoming with the specifics of the delay, as it shared the number of wafers initially expected to be produced and the expected decline after the delay. Isaiah said that TSMC originally planned to produce 15,000 to 20,000 3nm wafers per month by the end of 2023, but this has now been reduced to 5,000 to 10,000 per month.
However, the research firm, which addresses concerns about spare capacity due to the decline, remained optimistic as it pointed out that the majority (80%) of equipment for advanced manufacturing processes such as 5-nanometer and 3-nanometer are interchangeable, which TSMC will provide for other customers. opportunity to use.
TSMC’s response to the entire case sent to Taiwan’s United Daily News was brief with the firm. expressing:
“TSMC does not comment on the business of individual customers. The company’s capacity expansion project continues as planned.”
The semiconductor industry, which is currently facing a historic downturn due to a supply-demand mismatch following the coronavirus pandemic, has been considering reducing capacity and capital spending for quite some time. Chinese foundries have lowered their average selling prices (ASPs), and chipmakers in Taiwan have begun offering different prices for different nodes to ensure that demand does not fall.
However, TSMC has not made such a statement, and the issue of balancing capacity cuts with increased demand remains a thorn in the side for chipmakers, especially for newer products, as they risk spending too much money on idle machines and other equipment. the other reduces the withholding of income in the case of acceptance of the claim.