Samsung has started mass production on the 10nm node, and TSMC is on its way to make the shift to 7nm sometime in 2018. The Taiwanese company is set to make the eventual shift to 5nm by 2020, and is now investing in a brand new $15.7 fab for its 5nm and 3nm technologies.
In a statement to Nikkei Asian Review, TSMC spokesperson Elizabeth Sun said:
We’re asking the government to help us find a plot that is large enough and has convenient access so we can build an advanced chip plant to manufacture 5-nanometer and 3nm chips.
The factory could kick off production by 2022, and would require 50-80 hectares of land. TSMC co-CEO Mark Liu revealed earlier this year that a team of over 300 engineers at the company has been tasked with developing 3nm and a possible 2nm manufacturing node.
Qualcomm’s SVP Raj Talluri was on hand to talk about the company’s role in the evolution of manufacturing technologies:
As long as we have those benefits in power consumption, performance, size and cost, we will continue to push the [chip] process technology. We are now on 10nm node, but we can’t comment what we are going to do in the future … . We will continue to evaluate, and when there is an advantage, we will do it.
Given that Samsung and Intel are also looking to bring their next-gen nodes to market, if TSMC is able to do so successfully (and before its rivals), it stands to gain a lot.