Intel will share the first wave of 3nm production capacity in 2022 with Apple

Intel will become the first 3nm customer of TSMC and Apple, ahead of many senior customers such as AMD. In recent days, there is often market news that the TSMC 3nm process (N3), which was originally scheduled for mass production in the first half of 2022, will be delayed due to a lower yield than expected. In this regard, TSMC has constantly emphasized that N3 will be officially mass-produced in the second half of 2022 according to the established schedule, and will launch N3E as an extension of N3 in the second half of 2023.

Some semiconductor companies said that the reason for the N3 delay is that 3nm is a "devil's checkpoint", which is extremely difficult, and the yield, performance, and cost performance have not been as expected. This has caused the industry to continue to rumors that in addition to N3E after 1 year, TSMC has planned Multiple filings are underway at the same time to cater to the different needs of customers. It is expected that 3nm will actually enter the mass production stage in the fourth quarter of 2022, and the initial production capacity will not be much.

From this point of view, 3nm, which has not yet entered the GAA architecture generation, has been stuck with TSMC for a long time, and it is very difficult for Samsung Electronics and Intel, which are chanting "accelerate overtaking", to make a comeback. In this regard, TSMC only stated that 3nm will be mass-produced in the second half of 2022, with Nanke as the main production base.

In recent months, news of Samsung’s overtaking has often been reported in the market. For example, TSMC’s yield rate is not as expected and many problems remain to be solved. Although N3 can be mass-produced in the second half of 2022 as scheduled, its production capacity is very small. , The real heavy volume may not be until the second quarter of 2023, which is equivalent to actively giving Samsung and Intel a great opportunity to accelerate overtaking.

In fact, TSMC previously announced that N3 will be mass-produced in the second half of 2022, and compared with 5nm (N5), there will be more new product designs (Tape-out) in the first year, and significant contributions will only be seen in the first quarter of 2023. Revenue. In addition, TSMC will also launch N3E as a supplement, and the initial mass production schedule will be one year after N3 mass production (the second half of 2023).

TSMC is confident that the mass production of N3 technology will become the world’s most advanced logic technology. Compared with N5 technology, its speed will increase by 15%, power consumption will be reduced by 30%, and logic density will increase by 70%. Increase the use of EUV.

The semiconductor industry said that N3 should have appeared in the first half of 2022 in order to adapt to Apple’s new product mass production blueprint. However, at 7nm and 5nm and then scaled down to the 3nm node generation, various problems continue to emerge, completely letting TSMC and the supply chain Panicked, delayed the mass production schedule for several months, and it is expected that the volume will not gradually increase until 2023.

However, it is also because of the high difficulty of 3nm development that TSMC has rarely drafted multiple filings in the past year. Under the optimization of cost, yield, power consumption and performance, customers have different choices. It is expected that 3nm will be the fourth in 2022. It will really enter the mass production stage in the first quarter of the year, and the production capacity will increase too slowly. By the middle of 2022, the monthly production capacity will be only 50,000 to 60,000 pieces.

According to reports, TSMC’s first customers to adopt the 3nm process are Apple and Intel. The current capacity allocation of both parties is half and half, and Qualcomm, MediaTek, Broadcom, NVIDIA and AMD will not start to enter the 3nm generation until 2024 at the earliest.

In addition, due to the difficulty and cost of 3nm development, Apple and Intel have another 4nm production plan for new products in 2022.

Digitimes believes that as major chip manufacturers have placed orders for TSMC 3nm, after passing the devil's barrier at the end of the year, TSMC’s 3nm family will become a large-scale and long-term demand process technology, and customer adhesion will be higher, while Samsung and Intel have fallen In addition to its own products, there are still very few customers in the advanced manufacturing process with heavy investment. In addition, the pressure on amortization of depreciation costs is quite huge, and the huge investment costs in a few years may still be difficult to recover.

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