By the end of 2020, TSMC planned to begin the test phases of its next 3-nm manufacturing process. However, due to measures against the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the semiconductor giant had to postpone its plans until the beginning of 2021. This was good news for Samsung, which hopes to catch up with the world’s largest contract chip maker.
The COVID-19 outbreak has affected the whole world, various economies and industries. Supply chains were also broken, which led to a shortage. Now the launch of the 3-nm TSMC trial production line, which was planned to be installed by the end of this year, can only be seen in the first quarter of 2021. Mass production will begin somewhere in 2022. Similarly, Samsung also announced a delay in mass production of the 3-nm process until 2022, but it is making efforts to move faster from 7-nm to more advanced standards.
According to a TSMC spokesperson, the company is currently focused on its 7nm and 5nm standards. At the moment, the company has a lot of orders with tight deadlines, which puts pressure on it, especially taking into account US sanctions against Huawei. Although the delay in the development of 3-nm standards has not been too large, it is able to give the South Korean competitor enough time to catch up with TSMC to the beginning of mass 3-nm printing.
The Taiwanese semiconductor giant is investing heavily in a 3nm project. In the same way, Samsung is working hard to switch to the 3-nm process technology, completely skipping the 5-nm standard and focusing on current orders for printing 14-nm, 10-nm and 7-nm chips. Currently, TSMC is leading the semiconductor industry thanks to its already mastered 5nm process technology, which is of interest to many large customers, including Apple, HiSilicon, AMD, Qualcomm and others.
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