Wednesday, October 16th 2019

TSMC Extends 16 nm Lead Time, Possibly Because the Fab is Swamped

TSMC has increased its 7 nm delivery time by as much as three times because of extra demand from customers who want their products made on 7 nm manufacturing process. While we thought the struggles with the delivery of 7 nm will only be present for that node, it turns out that TSMC is facing some issues with the delivery of its 16 nm node as well.

There is no clear indication of why is TSMC having issues meeting demand for its 16 nm node, just now. What might be the reason is that a large number of manufacturers are still designing and manufacturing their products on 16 nm, as it is quite cheaper than smaller nodes, so the 16 nm manufacturing facilities may be "overloaded". Another possible reason is that wafer output faced some issues that are now affecting both the 7 and 16 nm node delivery time being extended. That can be anything from a small power cut to a large issue like contamination of cleanrooms where processors are made.
Source: DigiTimes
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12 Comments on TSMC Extends 16 nm Lead Time, Possibly Because the Fab is Swamped

#1
john_
Maybe TSMC is moving some of it's lines from producing 16nm chips, to producing 7nm chips. With those production lines out of the equation and 16nm still strong, it would make sense, right?
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#2
1d10t
john_
Maybe TSMC is moving some of it's lines from producing 16nm chips, to producing 7nm chips. With those production lines out of the equation and 16nm still strong, it would make sense, right?
...or they "siding" with protester, delayed everything hopes that they gain attention from "western" :D
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#3
TheLostSwede
john_
Maybe TSMC is moving some of it's lines from producing 16nm chips, to producing 7nm chips. With those production lines out of the equation and 16nm still strong, it would make sense, right?
Unfortunately, that's not how it works when it comes to making ICs. It would be great if it was that easy, but sadly no. The machines that are involved are a lot more expensive and a lot more advanced as you move down in the node size and they're not easily swapped around either.

1d10t
...or they "siding" with protester, delayed everything hopes that they gain attention from "western" :D
Eh? What protester(s)? Taiwan is a free, mostly democratic nation and TSMC is a for profit company that I don't know anyone is protesting against.
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#4
Kenjiro
TheLostSwede
... Taiwan is a free, mostly democratic nation...
Err, nope. Taiwan is really Republic of China (ROC) and is not legally recognized by most of the political world. HK is first step, Taiwan is next to be claimed by continental China.

PS. This has to be rectified, because it is common mistake to see Taiwan as independent country.
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#5
TheLostSwede
Kenjiro
Err, nope. Taiwan is really Republic of China (ROC) and is not legally recognized by most of the political world. HK is first step, Taiwan is next to be claimed by continental China.

PS. This has to be rectified, because it is common mistake to see Taiwan as independent country.
Hence why I said nation, not country. It's not my fault you don't know the difference between the two.
However, it is mostly free and mostly democratic, I ought to have something of an idea about it, since I live there...
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#6
1d10t
TheLostSwede
Eh? What protester(s)? Taiwan is a free, mostly democratic nation and TSMC is a for profit company that I don't know anyone is protesting against.
I know, I'm just spreading lies :D
Jokes aside, this is not the first time TSMC having some trouble delivering, thats just kinda surprising for me amidst ongoing trade war.
Posted on Reply
#7
Jozsef Dornyei
16 nm should be significantly more expensive as 7 nm. The footprint of an IC is larger and that is the primary cost factor.
One of the reason for smaller stepping is to cut the costs.

For example intel is still on 14 nm. If you want to follow the big picture you should actually watch intel's manufacturing costs.
As intel must add more silicon for the same amount of money these costs should go up.
I was not able to google it so more research is needed than what I have time for. :)
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#8
Vayra86
TheLostSwede
Hence why I said nation, not country. It's not my fault you don't know the difference between the two.
However, it is mostly free and mostly democratic, I ought to have something of an idea about it, since I live there...
But there is always that pressure from China though right? I think that's what he's alluding to. Sounds VERY far fetched to me, but OK.
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#9
prtskg
Jozsef Dornyei
16 nm should be significantly more expensive as 7 nm. The footprint of an IC is larger and that is the primary cost factor.
One of the reason for smaller stepping is to cut the costs.

For example intel is still on 14 nm. If you want to follow the big picture you should actually watch intel's manufacturing costs.
As intel must add more silicon for the same amount of money these costs should go up.
I was not able to google it so more research is needed than what I have time for. :)
This statement stopped being true in the last few years. Now smaller nodes are more for performance and efficiency (both power and area). Older nodes are cheaper even though more silicon is required. Smaller nodes are now more costly because of hardware/machine cost as well as more research requirement.
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#10
TheLostSwede
Vayra86
But there is always that pressure from China though right? I think that's what he's alluding to. Sounds VERY far fetched to me, but OK.
Pressure to re-unite or are you talking about potentially dodgy things like trying to rig elections?
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#11
sneekypeet
How about we leave the politics out of the conversation? No need to divert the topic with this sort of thing.
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