August 10, 2022

TSMC will start mass production of 2-nanometer chips by 2025 at Hsinchu plant, to achieve ASML’s advanced high-NA EUV chip fabrication tool by 2024

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), the world’s largest contract chipmaker, said it will begin volume production of 2-nanometer chips by 2025 as the chip giant plans to beat its competitors to be the first to deploy advanced technology.

The 2nm process chips will feature a new technology called “nanosheet transistor architecture” for better performance and power efficiency.

“TSMC’s N2 technology represents another remarkable advancement over N3, with a 10-15% speed improvement at the same power, or a 25-30% power reduction at the same speed, ushering in a new era of efficient performance.” the company said in a statement.

The 2nm technology platform includes a high-performance variant in addition to the basic mobile computing version, as well as chip integration solutions.

On Thursday, June 16, the company showcased the latest innovations in its advanced logic, specialty, and 3D integrated circuit technologies at its 2022 North American Technology Symposium.

“We live in a rapidly changing supercharged digital world, where the demand for computing power and energy efficiency is growing faster than ever, creating unprecedented opportunities and challenges for the semiconductor industry,” said CC Wei, CEO of TSMC, at the event.

The chipmaker, which launched the 5nm process in 2020, is expected to begin commercial production of the 3nm process later this year at its Tainan fav.

Regarding its 2nm processing factories, TSMC announced that it will build a wafer factory in Hsinchu, northern Taiwan, and later expand production to Taichung, central Taiwan.

Resuming as an in-person event after being hosted online for the past two years, the North American Symposium in Santa Clara, Calif., is launching a series of technology symposia around the world in the coming months.

TSMC to get advanced chip fabrication tool from ASML in 2024

TSMC executives have also confirmed that they will get the next version of Dutch chip tool maker ASML’s most advanced chipmaking tool in 2024.

ASML has been developing its high numerical aperture (high NA) EUV lithography line for some time. Lithography equipment is used to pattern tiny features on chips, allowing chipmakers to build smaller, faster devices on advanced nodes and pack more functionality into a single die or package.

The “high-NA EUV” tool produces beams of focused light that create the microscopic circuits on computer chips used in phones, laptops, vehicles and artificial intelligence devices, such as smart speakers .

EUV stands for extreme ultraviolet, the wavelength of light used by ASML’s most advanced machines.

According to some estimates, a high-NA scanner should cost $318.6 million, compared to $153.4 million for current EUV systems.