In addition to TSMC and Samsung, Intel has also shown great expectations for 3nm.
A few days ago, TSMC officially announced that it will launch an enhanced version of the 3nm process in 2023. The process will be named “3nm Plus”, and the first customer is still Apple. According to the speed of Apple’s new generation of chips in one year, the “A17” chip will be using the 3nm Plus process.
TSMC officials have not disclosed the details of the 3nm Plus process. From previous upgrades, it can be speculated that 3nm Plus will have more transistor density and lower power consumption than 3nm.
Referring to the 3nm process previously announced by TSMC, the transistor density has increased by 70%. Compared with the 5nm process, the 3nm process will reduce power consumption by 25-30% and bring about 10-15% performance improvement.
In September of this year, TSMC announced its 3nm process mass production target. The monthly production capacity in the second half of 2022 will rise to 55,000 sheets, and by 2023, the monthly production capacity will rise to 100,000 sheets. At the same time, Apple has taken over the first batch of 3nm production capacity.
Samsung has always hoped to overtake TSMC on the 3nm process. In terms of core technology, Samsung’s 3nm will switch to Gate-All-Around (GAA, surround gate transistor), while TSMC insists on using FinFET (fin field effect transistor). Samsung also hopes to launch 3nm products next year, which also puts a lot of pressure on TSMC.
At present, the 3nm process will become the key point of competition among various foundries. In addition to TSMC and Samsung, Intel has also shown great expectations for 3nm, and has abandoned FinFET and turned to GAA in the 5nm process stage.