During its first quarter earnings call, TSMC revealed that the mass production of its most advanced manufacturing process, the 2nm (N2), which will launch a new GAA (Gate All Around) transistor design to improve power efficiency and density, will begin mass production around 2025, which is a year earlier when a tape release is expected. The term “tape-out” refers to chip designers who finalize their designs before sending them to the factory for refinement or production.
As already revealed, the 3nm continue their way without suffering any delay, until the tape-out is reached at the end of this year.
N2 would be the first TSMC process to use GAA (gate all-around) transistors instead of FinFET (fin field effect transistors). Samsung has already started using its version of GAA, and Intel plans to roll out its version in 2024. An analyst asked TSMC’s president about it, but declined to comment.
TSMC executives were more open about the upcoming family of 3nm chips. In the second half of this year, TSMC will put the N3 process into production. A year later, or even sooner, it will be ready to put the N3E process into production, which is a “more efficient and more powerful” version of the N3.
TSMC expects HPC (high performance computing) to be its fastest growing segment this year. Last quarter, it generated 41% of its revenue, just slightly more than smartphones, which generated 40%. IoT and automotive take third and fourth place, generating 8% and 5% of revenue, respectively.