Taiwanese chipmaker TSMC has begun working on the 2nm process technology. During its recently concluded annual conference, the company announced its plans of setting up a 2nm foundry in the Hsinchu city, where its headquarters are located.
According to YP Chin, senior vice president at TSMC, the company has already purchased land in the Taiwanese city to set up a factory and a research and development (R&D) center. TSMC's new factory and R&D center will employ around 8,000 peoples.
The company didn't share many details about the 2nm process technology. However, reports are that its 2nm node will use the GAA (gate-all-around) technology. This technology is said to be much more efficient than the FinFET technology (fin field-effect transistor) currently in use.
Samsung, TSMC's main competitor in the chip market, has already announced plans for using GAA in its 3nm process technology. The latter will still use FinFET technology for its 3nm nodes.
TSMC begins work on 2nm process, 3nm chips might arrive in 2022
Industry watchers expect 3nm chips to arrive inside smartphones in 2022. The current generation of flagship mobile SoCs is based on the 7nm process node. However, the transition to 5nm chips has already begun. TSMC has already started mass production of the next-generation chipsets. Apple is reportedly its main client for its 5nm chips, which the company will use in the iPhone 12 series.
During its annual Technology Symposium, TSMC also announced its roadmap for the next two years. With chips on 6nm and 5nm process technology already in mass production, it next plans to manufacture an improved version of the latter sometime in 2021.
The new process technology will reportedly bring a 5 percent speed boost and a 10 percent power reduction while using the same foundry. 4nm chips will then go into mass production late in 2021. This continued evolution will see 3nm chips arrive in a couple of years from now, followed by 2nm chips.
TSMC is reportedly working closely with a major client to accelerate its 2nm R&D and facilitate related investment procedures. The Taiwanese company is the world's biggest contract chipmaker and has invested millions of dollars in expanding its production capacity over the past few years.
It recently acquired several factory buildings in the Southern Taiwan Science Park (STSP), including a plant from an unnamed LCD panel maker. With Samsung also investing heavily in the chip business, the two companies' rivalry is certain to grow bigger in the coming years. And that's a good thing for consumers. The two giants will try to outdo each other and that'll keep prices of smartphones in check.