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Bosch Unveils One Billion Euro Chip Manufacturing Facility in Germany

Robert Bosch GmbH, commonly known as just Bosch, has today unveiled the results of the company's biggest investment ever. On Monday, the company has unveiled its one billion Euro manufacturing facility, which roughly translates to 1.2 billion US Dollars. The manufacturing plant is located in Dresden, Germany, and it aims to supply the leading self-driving automobile companies with chips that are in great demand. As the main goal for the plant is to manufacture chips for the automotive industry, this new 7,200 m² Dresden facility is supposed to provide car makers with Application-Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs) for power management and tasks such as triggering the automatic braking system of cars.

The one billion Euro facility was funded partly by the funds coming from the European Union investment scheme, which donated as much as 200 million Euros ($243 million). The goal of the plan is to start with the manufacturing of chips for power tools as early as July and start production of automotive chips in September. All of the chips will be manufactured on 300 mm wafers, which offers a major improvement in quantity compared to 200 and 150 mm wafers currently used by Bosch. The opening of this facility will surely help with the global chip shortages, which have even hit the automotive sector.

Intel CEO Predicts Chip Shortages Across the Ecosystem to Run Another Couple of Years

Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger, speaking at the company's 2021 Computex Opening Keynote address stated that the explosive demand for chips caused by recent inflections of technology, accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, has resulted in demand outstripping supply by such extent, that it could "still take a couple of years for the ecosystem to address the shortages."

Gelsinger detailed how the world of information technology is at its biggest crossroads ever, with the emergence of Cloud, 5G, AI, and smarter edge computing changing the way people work, learn, and interact. This has caused a huge growth in the demand for semiconductors straining technology supply chains around the world. Gelsinger stated that his company is working with partners across the technology ecosystem to increase output to meet demand. He detailed how Intel has nearly doubled its own chip wafer manufacturing capacity over the past four years. "But while the industry has taken steps to address near-term constraints, it could still take a couple of years for the ecosystem to address chip shortages of foundry capacity, substrate, and components.

NVIDIA to Deliver a Keynote on The Transformational Power of Accelerated Computing at COMPUTEX 2021 Hybrid

TAITRA (Taiwan External Trade and Development Council) announced today that NVIDIA will be delivering a keynote, entitled "The Transformational Power of Accelerated Computing, from Gaming to the Enterprise Data Center" at COMPUTEX 2021 Hybrid. Jeff Fisher, Senior Vice President of NVIDIA's GeForce Business Unit, will present on June 1 at 1:00 pm Taiwan time on the massive opportunities that GeForce PC gaming represents for the Taiwan ecosystem.

Manuvir Das, Head of Enterprise Computing at NVIDIA, will then address "The Coming Democratization of AI." He will share three shifts driving this trend and explain how enterprises that embrace them can thrive in the coming years.

South Korea Unveils Ambitious $450 Billion Semiconductor Manufacturing Investment Plan

The South Korean government, along with 153 Korean companies, has unveiled an ambitious plan to invest USD $450 billion over the next decade, to make its semiconductor manufacturing industry globally competitive, as China and the U.S. are executing similar national plans of their own, which threaten to blunt South Korea's competitiveness in the industry. Leading the effort will be Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix.

Samsung will be spending over $151 billion through 2030 in expanding its manufacturing facilities, while SK Hynix will spend $97 billion to expand its existing facilities; in addition to $106 billion planned to build four new fabs in the Yongin. Both Samsung and SK Hynix are predominantly memory companies, manufacturing DRAM and NAND flash products. This means that while Korea is globally competitive in semiconductor manufacturing overall, it is relying mainly on memory dies, and not logic dies (chips such as ASICs, CPUs, GPUs, SoCs, FPGAs, etc). The two could put in efforts to change this, so their foundry capacity attracts fabless logic IC companies away from Taiwan's TSMC, which specializes in logic over memory.

Big Tech and Lobby: Semiconductors in America Coalition (SIAC) Founded With Microsoft, Apple, Intel, AMD, TSMC, Others

Since lobbying is both legal and regulated in the US (an attempt to bring attempts of influencing political power by corporations under legal boundaries, as opposed to being done in the dark), it feels like it was only a matter of time before big tech attempted to join under one banner. As such, the Semiconductors in America Coalition (SIAC) has now been put together, and boasts of 64 members including Microsoft, Apple, TSMC, Intel, AMD, NVIDIA, Arm, and Samsung. It seems that all of these companies - which are often at odds with one another when it comes to competing for consumers' choice and money - have found enough similarities to get organized in an attempt to nudge political power in their favor.

SIAC said in a press release that its mission is to "advance federal policies that promote semiconductor manufacturing and research in the U.S. to strengthen America's economy, national security, and critical infrastructure." The first announcement from the SIAC following its foundation was its intention to support the CHIPS for America Act. The Act (supported by The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) and President Joe Biden) has already been approved by the House and the Senate as part of the National Defense Authorization Act for 2021 but has not yet been funded. It seems that SIAC's first mission is to get the government to open up its $50 billion-deep pockets.

Apple Awards an Additional $410 Million from its Advanced Manufacturing Fund to II-VI

Apple today announced a new $410 million award from its Advanced Manufacturing Fund for II-VI, a leading manufacturer of optical technology. Today's award builds on an initial $390 million awarded from Apple's Advanced Manufacturing Fund in 2017. The expansion of the company's long-standing relationship with II-VI will create additional capacity and accelerate delivery of future components for iPhone, with 700 jobs in Sherman, Texas; Warren, New Jersey; Easton, Pennsylvania; and Champaign, Illinois.

II-VI manufactures vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) that help power Face ID, Memoji, Animoji, and Portrait mode selfies. Apple also works with II-VI to manufacture lasers used in the LiDAR Scanner—technology that helps deliver faster, more realistic augmented reality experiences and improves autofocus in low-light scenes in photos and videos.

Intel Likely to Expand its New Mexico Manufacturing Facility

Intel over the weekend announced that it will make new investments into its Rio Rancho manufacturing facility in the U.S. state of New Mexico. The company will hold a media event later today, describing the nature of the investment. Keyvan Esfarjani its VP and GM for manufacturing and operations will be joined by New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, along with a few Members of Congress from the state, in this event. Given the substantial participation of elected representatives, this is likely to be an expansion to the facility. Intel describes the Rio Rancho facility as focusing on mass production of the company's 3D XPoint memory, NAND flash, and silicon photonics products.

Update 16:13 UTC: Intel outlined its expansion plans with Rio Rancho, with a $3.5 billion investment, which could create at least 700 high-tech jobs and 1,000 construction jobs and support an additional 3,500 jobs in the state.

The press release follows.

TSMC Employs AMD EPYC CPUs for Mission-Critical Manufacturing

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, the maker of various kinds of silicon products, is the manufacturer of AMD's EPYC processors. However, have you ever questioned what CPUs are actually behind TSMC? The answer to that question is quite simple. Today, we have come to know that TSMC is using AMD EPYC processors to power their manufacturing infrastructure and tape out thousands of wafers per month. AMD has published TSMC's case study, which pointed out that the total cost of ownership has been the main challenge of the Taiwanese company. By using AMD EPYC 7702P and 7F72 CPUs, TSMC addresses the need for both reliable and high-performing server infrastructure to power the manufacturing efforts. For research and development purposes, TSMC chose the 7F72 with 24 cores and a high clock speed of 3.2 GHz, which is ideal for the company needs and purposes.

For more details about TSMC's choices and solutions, read the case study here.

Global Chip Shortage Takes Another Toll... Now Your Home Router?

The global supply of semiconductor processors has been at risk lately. Starting from GPUs to CPUs, the demand for both has been much greater than the available supply. Manufacturing companies, such as TSMC, have been expanding capacities, however, they have not yet been able to satisfy the demand. We have seen the results of that demand in a form of the scarcity of the latest generation of graphics cards, covering NVIDIA's GeForce RTX 3000 series Ampere, and AMD' Radeon RX 6000 series Big Navi graphics cards. Consumers have had a difficult time sourcing them and they have seen artificial price increase that is much higher than their original MSRP.

However, it doesn't seem like the situation will improve. According to the latest reporting from Bloomberg, the next victim of global chip shortage is... you guessed it, your home internet router. The cited sources have noted that the waiting list to get a batch of ordered routers has doubled the waiting time, from the regular 30 weeks to 60-week waiting time. This represents a waiting list that is more than a year long. With the global COVID-19 pandemic still going strong, there is an increased need for better home router equipment, and delays can only hurt broadband providers that supply routers. Taiwan-based router manufacturer Zyxel Communications, notes that the company has seen massive demand for their equipment. Such a massive demand could lead to insufficient supply, which could increase prices of routers well above their MSRP and bring scarcity of them as well.

TSMC Could Build Six GigaFabs in Arizona

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), one of the largest manufacturers of silicon, is seemingly making plans to build as many as six of its US-based fabs in Arizona. According to the unconfirmed report coming from UDN, TSMC could be building its Arizona-based factories for much larger capacities. Based on TSMC's classifications, the MegaFab-class of factories is the one with 25,000 WSPM output. According to the report, TSMC plans to build six additional facilities in the area where the Arizona fab is, and have a GigaFab-class (even larger type) factory present on US soil. Currently, the company operates six GigaFabs and all of them are based in Taiwan.

The GigaFab class factory is supposed to have over 100,000 WSPM output, and by building one in the US, TSMC could get much closer to big customers like Apple, NVIDIA, and AMD. Reports are saying that TSMC's primary target is 3 nm node production on 12-inch (300 mm) wafers. All six of the supposed facilities are expected to output more than 100,000 wafers at their peak, making it one of the largest projects TSMC has ever done. The Arizona location is supposed to serve as a "mega fab" facility and it is supposed to start manufacturing silicon in 2024. This information is, of course, just a rumor so you should take it with a grain of salt, as this type of information is usually only known by top-level management.

TSMC to Start 3 nm Node Production This Year

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), the leading provider of semiconductors, is supposed to start 3 nm node production this year. While Samsung, one of the top three leading semiconductor foundries, has been struggling with the pandemic and delayed its 3 nm node for 2022, TSMC has managed to deliver it this year. According to a report, the Taiwanese semiconductor giant is preparing the 3 nm node for the second half of this year, with the correct date of high-volume product unknown. The expected wafer capacity for the new node is supposed to be around 30,000 wafers per month, with capacity expansion expected to hit around 105,000 wafers per month in 2023. This is similar to 5 nm's current numbers of 105,000 wafers per month output, which was 90,000 just a few months ago in Q4 2020. One of the biggest customers of the upcoming 3 nm node is Apple.

Report: TSMC and UMC are Trucking in Water Amid Shortages

Manufacturing silicon is no easy task. You need to have all the right supplies available all the time. One of the most used ingredients in silicon manufacturing is water. Almost every process needs it and it needs to be constantly available to the manufacturer. According to the report coming from Reuters, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) and United Microelectronics Corporation (UMC) are experiencing water shortages. The Taiwan island is in trouble, as the typhoon season has been rather mild and water supplies are at the historic lows. Water restrictions are in place all across the island and the reservoirs in the center and southern regions are at only 20% capacity.

The lack of water is a big problem for TSMC and UMC, as both companies rely on the constant income of it. With water restrictions in place, TSMC has to keep its facilities running and needs to solve the problem. That is why Taiwan's biggest silicon manufacturer is now making small orders of waters, delivered by a truckload. TSMC expects to compensate for the lack of water coming from its regular sources with truckloads of it. While we do not know the numbers of it, we can expect the water use to be very high if we take into account the number of wafers TSMC produces at its facilities.

Manufacturing: Samsung Semiconductor Fabs in Texas Shut Down Following State-wide Power Shortages

News just keep flowing that are bound to have impact on pricing for components users of this website know and love. The Austin-American Statesman reports that Samsung has been ordered to shutter its Texas factories in wake of recent power shortages that have impacted the state. The order, which came from Austin Energy, doesn't just affect Samsung: all industrial and semiconductor manufacturers in the state were ordered to idle or shut down their facilities, meaning that NXP Semiconductors and Infineon Semiconductors have also been affected. According to Austin Energy, all companies have complied with the order. A date for the lifting of these restrictions still hasn't been given.

As we know, semiconductor manufacturing is a drawn-out process, with some particular wafers taking several months in their journey from initial fabrication until they reach completion. This meas that it's a particularly sensitive business in regards to power outages or general service interruptions. The entire semiconductor manufacturing lines - and products therein, in various stages of production - can be rendered unusable due to these events, which will have a sizable impact in the final manufacturing output of a given factory. It remains to be seen the scale of this production impact, but a few percentage points difference in the overall global semiconductor manufacturing could have dire implications for availability and pricing, considering the already insufficient operational capacity in regards to demand. Considering the impact adverse temperatures are having on Texas residents, here's hoping for the quick resolution of these problems, which affect much more than just semiconductor manufacturing capabilities.

Samsung to Build $17 Billion Silicon Manufacturing Plant in the US by 2023

Samsung has been one of the world's biggest foundries and one of three big players still left in the leading-edge semiconductor process development and manufacturing. However, the Korean giant is always seeking ways to improve its offerings, especially for Western customers. Today, it is reported that Samsung has reportedly talked with regulators in Texas, New York, and Arizona about building a $17 billion silicon manufacturing facility in the United States. The supposed factory is going to be located near Austin, Texas, and is supposed to offer around 1800 jobs. If the deal is approved and Samsung manages to complete the project on time, the factory is supposed to start mass production in Q4 of 2023.

What process is Samsung going to manufacture in the new fab? Well, current speculations are pointing out to the 3 nm node, with Samsung's special GAAFET (Gate All Around FET) technology tied to the new node. The fab is also expected to make use of extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography for manufacturing. Samsung already has a facility in the US called S2, however, that will not be upgraded as it is still serving a lot of clients. Instead, the company will build new facilities to accommodate the demand for newer nodes. It is important to note that Samsung will not do any R&D work in the new fab, and the company will only manufacture the silicon there.

Apple is Reportedly Working with TSMC on a Special Micro OLED Panel Technology

OLED panes are expertise areas of display makers such as LG and Samsung, however, when it comes to Apple, they have to rely on external manufacturers to make a display. For years Apple has been contracting LG and Samsung to make the display for iPhones and Macs, but it looks like Apple is now collaborating with another firm to develop micro OLED technology. According to sources over at Nikkei Asia, Apple is collaborating with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) to develop "ultra-advanced display technology at a secretive facility in Taiwan". Despite TSMC not being the traditional choice for panel manufacturing, there is a list of reasons why Apple chose its years-long partner to work with.

TSMC is known for manufacturing silicon chips, however, Apple envisions that the Taiwan maker will manufacture ultra-advanced micro OLED technology using wafers. Building the displays using wafers will result in much lower power consumption and far lower size. Why is this approach necessary you might wonder? Well, Apple is developing a new generation of AR glasses and there needs to be a solid display technology for them to exist. It is reported that the new micro OLED displays are under development and are about one inch in diameter. The source also adds that this is just one out of two projects being worked on inside of Apple's secretive labs located in the Taiwanese city of Taoyuan. What is the other project remains a mystery, however, with more time we could get information on that as well.

Intel Invests Additional $475 Million in Vietnam

Intel Corporation today announced it has invested a further US $475 million in Intel Products Vietnam (IPV). This new investment is in addition to Intel's US$1 billion investment to build a state-of-the-art chip assembly and test manufacturing facility in Saigon Hi-Tech Park (SHTP), first announced in 2006. This takes Intel's total investment in its Vietnam facility to US $1.5 billion.

"As of the end of 2020, Intel Products Vietnam has shipped more than 2 billion units to customers worldwide. We're very proud of this milestone, which shows both how important IPV is to helping Intel meet the needs of its customers all around the world, and why we continue to invest in our facilities and team here in Vietnam," said Kim Huat Ooi, vice president of Manufacturing and Operations and general manager of Intel Products Vietnam Co. Ltd.

Intel Expands 10nm Manufacturing Capacity

In response to incredible customer demand, Intel has doubled its combined 14 nm and 10 nm manufacturing capacity over the past few years. To do this, the company found innovative ways to deliver more output within existing capacity through yield improvement projects and significant investments in capacity expansion. This video recounts that journey, which even included re-purposing existing lab and office space for manufacturing.

"Over the last three years, we have doubled our wafer volume capacity, and that was a significant investment. Moving forward, we're not stopping… We are continuing to invest into factory capacity to ensure we can keep up with the growing needs of our customers," says Keyvan Esfarjani, senior vice president and general manager of Manufacturing and Operations at Intel. The company also ramped its new 10 nm process this year. Intel currently manufactures 10 nm products in high volumes at its Oregon and Arizona sites in the U.S. and its site in Israel.

Intel's Manufacturing Outlook for the Future Doesn't Inspire Confidence in Successful Competition, According to Susquehanna Call

Susquehanna is a global trading firm which has various interests in silicon manufacturing - and part of that interest is naturally materialized in Intel. In a recent group call from the firm, some details on Intel's manufacturing and product design woes came to light, which point towards even more execution slips than we've already seen. During the call, a number of points were broached, including dismal yields for Intel's 10 nm manufacturing process as of its introduction in late 2018 (which is why it never saw mainstream adoption from the company). News that Intel is looking for a new CEO also don't instill confidence on current CEO Bob Swan's capacity to steer the Intel behemoth.

Improved yields on 10 nm are being reported due to deployment of Intel's SuperFin technology, which improved yields to upwards of 50%, but still keeps them under the ones achieved in Intel's 14 nm process; an eye-opening tidbit in that Cannon Lake on 10 nm originally saw yields of only 25% usable chips per wafer; and that backporting Rocket Lake meant Intel had to deal with unfathomably large chips and high power consumption characteristics. And to add insult to injury, there is still not a definite timetable for 7 nm deployment, with delays being expected to be worse than the previously reported 6-12 months. This all paints a somewhat grim picture for Intel's capacity to compete with TSMC-powered AMD in many of its most important markets; the blue giant won't topple, of course, but it's expected that five years from now, we'll be looking at a very different outlook in the market between AMD and Intel. You can check the talked-about points in the call via the transcript after the break. You should still take the transcript with a grain of salt.

TSMC to Roll Out 3nm Plus Manufacturing Process in 2023

The possibility barely exists to account for all the silicon manufacturing processes currently in development; TSMC themselves are rolling out 5 nm, 4 nm, 3 nm, and 2 nm processes at various points in time in the future. Now, the company has announced that it will be rolling out a revision of the 3 nm manufacturing process, named 3 nm Plus, come 2023. According to DigiTimes, the Taiwanese manufacturer's first client for this process will be Apple.

There is no information on what exactly 3 nm Plus leverages and offers over the "vanilla" 3 nm process. It could be anything from higher transistor density, lower power consumption, or higher operating frequency - or maybe a mixture of the three. The original 3 nm manufacturing process is set to offer a 15% performance gain over the current top-of-the-line 5 nm node, with 30% decreased power use and up to 70% density increase. Interestingly, TSMC is keeping their FinFet manufacturing technology, on grounds of better implementation costs and higher power efficiency compared to the more exotic GAA (Gate-All-Around) technology that its rival Samsung, for one, aims to implement in 3 nm.

TSMC Ends Its Volume Discounts For the Biggest Customers, Could Drive Product Prices Up

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), one of the largest semiconductor manufacturers in the world, is reportedly ending its volume discounts. The company is the maker of the currently smallest manufacturing nodes, like 7 nm and 5 nm. For its biggest customers, TSMC used to offer a discount - when you purchase 10s or 100s of thousands of 300 mm (12-inch) wafers per month, the company will give you a deal of a 3% price decrease per wafer, meaning that the customer is taking a higher margin off a product it sells. Many of the customers, like Apple, NVIDIA, and AMD, were a part of this deal.

Today, thanks to a report from the Taiwanese Central News Agency, TSMC is terminating this type of discount. Now, every customer will pay full price for the wafer, without any exceptions. For now, it is unclear what drove that decision at TSMC's headquarters, but the only thing that we could think is that the demand is too high to keep up with the discounts and the margins are possibly lower. What this means for consumers is a possible price increase in products that are manufactured at TSMC's facilities. The consumer market is already at a drought of new PC components like CPUs and GPUs due to high demand and scalping. This could contribute a bit to the issue, however, we do not expect it to be of any major significance.

1 Hour Power Outage at Micron Manufacturing Plant Could Mean Increased DRAM Prices Throughout 2021

Semiconductor manufacturing is a risky business. Not only is it heavily capital-intensive, which means that even some state-backed would-be players can fail in pooling together the required resources for an industry break-in; but the entire nature of the manufacturing process is a delicate balance of materials, nearly-endless fabrication, cleanup, and QA testing. Wafer manufacturing can take months between the initial fabrication stages through to the final packaging process; and this means that power outages or material contamination can jeopardize an outrageous number of in-fabrication semiconductors.

Recent news as covered by DigiTimes place one of Micron's fabrication plants in Taiwan as being hit with a 1-hour long power outage, which can potentially affect 10% of the entire predictable DRAM supply for the coming months (a power outage affects every step of the manufacturing process). Considering the increased demand for DRAM components due to the COVID-19 pandemic and associated demand for DRAM-inside products such as PCs, DIY DRAM, laptops, and tablets, industry players are now expecting a price hike for DRAM throughout 2021 until this sudden supply constraint is dealt with. As we know, DRAM manufacturers and resellers are a fickle bunch when it comes to increasing prices in even the slightest, dream-like hint of reduced supply. It remains to be seen how much of this 10% DRAM supply is actually salvageable, but projecting from past experience, a price hike seems to be all but guaranteed.

TSMC Completes Its Latest 3 nm Factory, Mass Production in 2022

They say that it is hard to keep up with Moore's Law, however, for the folks over at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), that doesn't seem to represent any kind of a problem. Today, to confirm that TSMC is one of the last warriors for the life of Moore's Law, we have information that the company has completed building its manufacturing facility for the next-generation 3 nm semiconductor node. Located in Southern Taiwan Science Park near Tainan, TSMC is expecting to start high-volume manufacturing of the 3 nm node in that Fab in the second half of 2022. As always, one of the first customers expected is Apple.

Estimated to cost an amazing 19.5 billion US Dollars, the Fab is expected to have an output of 55,000 300 mm (12-inch) wafers per month. Given that the regular facilities of TSMC exceed the capacity of over 100K wafers per month, this new facility is expected to increase the capacity over time and possibly reach the 100K level. The new 3 nm node is going to use the FinFET technology and will deliver a 15% performance gain over the previous 5 nm node, with 30% decreased power use and up to 70% density increase. Of course, all of those factors will depend on a specific design.

TSMC Partners With Google and AMD to Push 3D Silicon

Silicon manufacturing is starting to get harder and harder every day, with new challenges appearing daily. It requires massive investment and massive knowledge to keep a silicon manufacturing company afloat. No company can survive that alone, so some collaborations are emerging. Today, thanks to the sources of Nikkei Asia, we have information that Taiwanese Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) is collaborating with Google to push the production of 3D chip manufacturing process, that is said to overcome some of the silicon manufacturing difficulties. The sources also say that AMD is involved in the process as well, making Google and AMD the first customers of the advanced 3D chip design. The two companies are preparing designs for the new way of creating silicon and will help TSMC test and certify the process.

TSMC will deploy the 3D silicon manufacturing technology at its chip packaging plant in Miaoli, which is supposed to do mass production in 2022. With Google and AMD being the first customers of new 3D technology, it is exciting to see what new products will look like and how they will perform. The 3D approach is said to bring huge computing power increase, however, it is a waiting game now to see how it will look like.

TSMC Achieves Major Breakthrough in 2 nm Manufacturing Process, Risk Production in 2023

The Taiwan Economic Daily claims that TSMC has achieved a major internal breakthrough for the eventual rollout of 2 nm fabrication process technology. According to the publication, this breakthrough has turned TSMC even more optimistic towards a 2023 rollout of 2 nm risk production - which is all the more impressive considering reports that TSMC will be leaving the FinFet realm for a new multi-bridge channel field effect transistor (MBCFET) architecture - itself based on the Gate-All-Around (GAA) technology. This breakthrough comes one year after TSMC put together an internal team whose aim was to pave the way for 2 nm deployment.

MBCFET expands on the GAAFET architecture by taking the Nanowire field-effect transistor and expanding it so that it becomes a Nanosheet. The main idea is to make the field-effect transistor three-dimensional. This new complementary metal oxide semiconductor transistor can improve circuit control and reduce leakage current. This design philosophy is not exclusive to TSMC - Samsung has plans to deploy a variant of this design on their 3 nm process technology. And as has been the norm, further reductions in chip fabrication scale come at hefty costs - while the development cost for 5 nm has already achieved $476M in cost, Samsung reports that their 3 nm GAA technology will cost in excess of $500M - and 2 nm, naturally, will come in even costlier than that.

Samsung Could Become Apple's Newest Chip Supplier

Apple has recently announced its transition to Apple Silicon, meaning that every processor inside its products will be custom designed by the company. However, that seems to be becoming a bit of a problem. The sole supplier of chips for Apple has been Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), which Apple collaborated with for the past few years. The sheer capacity of TSMC is enough to satisfy the demand from several companies and thus it allows some of them to book its capacity. With Apple demanding more and more capacity than ever before, it is becoming quite hard to keep up with it. That is why Apple is, according to some analysts for Business Korea, looking for a foundry beyond TSMC's to manufacture its chips.

According to the source, Apple is looking at the direction of Samsung Electronics and its silicon manufacturing facilities. Samsung has recently started the production of its 5 nm silicon manufacturing node. We have reported that the first SoCs are set to arrive soon. However, it may be possible that Apple's M1 lineup of SoCs will be a part of that first wave. Apple is reportedly going to tap both TSMC and Samsung to qualify enough supply for the huge demand of the products based on the latest 5 nm technology.
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