News WSJ: TSMC to Open 5nm Factory in Arizona

spongiemaster

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Pretty surprised if this is true. Isn't TSMC expected to hit 3nm in late 2022 to early 2023? Why would you plan to build a 5nm fab scheduled to open in 2023 now? Unless a 5nm fab is "easily" modified to produce 3nm wafers.
 
Great to hear this!! Arizona is one of the best states for semiconductor facilities to open up at. In the area's surrounding Phoenix there's alot of empty desert to build. And the dry humidity helps.

We already have several Intel plants here in AZ, and i believe a couple are being worked on still.
 

InvalidError

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Why would you plan to build a 5nm fab scheduled to open in 2023 now?
Likely because it expects 5nm demand to continue quite some time into the future. While high-performance digital circuitry may benefit a lot from being made on the smallest process possible, analog and micro-power stuff prefers larger processes with tighter tolerances and lower leakage.

Different product classes require different fab processes. Why is Intel adding more 14nm fabs when 10nm and 7nm are incoming? Because 14nm will remain a workhorse for other stuff like EMIB and FOVEROS long after it falls out of favor for mainstream CPUs and GPUs.
 

BT

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Great News, at least for National Security purposes. But I fear most of these will be Visa Jobs, not domestic Americans. AZ has huge Fab footprint already to draw from, though.
 

spongiemaster

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Different product classes require different fab processes. Why is Intel adding more 14nm fabs when 10nm and 7nm are incoming? Because 14nm will remain a workhorse for other stuff like EMIB and FOVEROS long after it falls out of favor for mainstream CPUs and GPUs.
Are they building new 14nm fabs? Or just increasing capacity at existing fabs, and using more 3rd-party 14nm fabs? If Intel had hit 10nm years ago like they thought they would and all their mainstream CPU's were on 10nm now, there would be no need to increase 14nm capacity. It's clear at this point that whatever 10nm Intel comes up with, it isn't going to be their primary node. 14nm is going to continue to be their primary node until 7nm hits in '21/'22.
 

dstln

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Pretty surprised if this is true. Isn't TSMC expected to hit 3nm in late 2022 to early 2023? Why would you plan to build a 5nm fab scheduled to open in 2023 now? Unless a 5nm fab is "easily" modified to produce 3nm wafers.
Old fab lines pump out chips for years and years. Not every device needs cutting-edge. I think 200+nm fabs are still being used.
 
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InvalidError

Titan
Moderator
Old fab lines pump out chips for years and years. Not every device needs cutting-edge. I think 200+nm fabs are still being used.
Yup, Intel's #18 is still doing 200mm 65nm wafers, last fab left that isn't on 22nm or better once 11X's upgrade is complete.

And then you have power semiconductor manufacturers still using micron-scale (1000+nm) fabs since power stuff requires thick metal and insulation layers that are easier to do on larger processes. Precision analog and micro-power stuff is also done on larger processes with tighter tolerances and lower leakage too.
 
Reactions: TCA_ChinChin
Pretty surprised if this is true. Isn't TSMC expected to hit 3nm in late 2022 to early 2023? Why would you plan to build a 5nm fab scheduled to open in 2023 now? Unless a 5nm fab is "easily" modified to produce 3nm wafers.
Probably not first risk production but to scale it. if it does some magic numbers as 7 brought, they will need every line they can muster to keep up with demand.
Everyone will do chiplets now, literally everyone gpu, cpu ..... so I guess even if logic itself will move to 3nm, they can still make IO and other older pieces.
Second thing, it would be uber stupid to make new fab in a way that cannot be converted to new process they are already probing.
 

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