Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), the world’s largest foundry, may have to postpone its planned production of 2nm chips from 2025 to 2026, according to a report published on Monday in Taiwan by TechNews.tw. The delay is reportedly due to a slowdown in the construction of a new facility in Hsinchu Baosha, essential for 2nm production, which is being attributed to an overall deceleration in global semiconductor demand.
The transition to the 2nm node is significant for TSMC as it will introduce Gate-all-around (GAA) transistors, replacing the current FinFET transistors. GAA transistors utilize vertically stacked nanosheets allowing the gate to touch the channel on all four sides, reducing current leakage and energy consumption while enhancing drive current. Samsung (KS:) Foundry has already integrated GAA with its 3nm node, but TSMC’s adoption of this technology will debut with its 2nm chips.
However, TSMC has refuted the report’s accuracy, possibly due to competitive pressure as Samsung Foundry is still on track to launch its 2nm chips in 2025. Additionally, Samsung Foundry plans to start 1.4nm production in 2027.
In another development, Intel (NASDAQ:) plans to introduce backside power delivery, a feature it calls Power Via, to its chips next year. This innovation relocates power supply lines to the back of a die rather than their traditional front-side placement, potentially improving power and performance. TSMC also plans to incorporate this feature into its 2nm chips after the first generation of 2nm production is completed.
TSMC’s smooth transition to the N3B 3nm process node was largely facilitated by reserving most of its 3nm capabilities for Apple (NASDAQ:)’s A17 Pro chip, powering the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max. The foundry also offered Apple a deal which transferred all the risk to TSMC, despite a respectable yield of 70% in the first year of the new process node.
Intel could potentially surpass both TSMC and Samsung Foundry in process leadership by 2025 with the utilization of its 18A node (1.8nm). As these developments unfold, the technology sector is closely observing these pivotal shifts in semiconductor production.
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