Apple supplier TSMC on track for volume production of 3nm chips next year

According to a DigiTimes report, Apple’s main chip supplier TSMC is on track to begin risk production of a 3nm fabrication process in the second half of this year, when the foundry will be capable of producting 30,000 wafers built using the more advanced technology. TSMC reportedly plans to expand its 3nm process capacity to 55,000 units monthly in 2022 and 105,000 units in 2023.

TSMCTim Hardwick for MacRumors:

A previous report suggested TSMC will be ready to move into volume production in the second half of next year, suggesting the 3nm production roadmap is unchanged.

Meanwhile, TSMC plans to scale up its 5nm process manufacturing capacity throughout the year to meet increasing demands from its major customers…

TSMC’s 5nm process capacity will reach 160,000 wafers monthly by 2024, the sources indicated. In addition to Apple, other major customers using TSMC’s 5nm process manufacturing include AMD, MediaTek, Xilinx, Marvell, Broadcom and Qualcomm, the sources said.

Overall 5nm chip orders placed by Apple reportedly remain stable, thanks to new orders for Apple’s Arm-based M1 processor and continued brisk demand for the iPad Air, powered by Apple’s A14 Bionic chip.

MacDailyNews Take: Hopefully prior to the publication of this DigiTimes report, somebody sent Intel management a couple pallets of adult diapers or Santa Clara’s pretty messy today.


  1. Just in time for Apple Silicon’s M2-series. That should leave no doubt in the industry’s mind that Apple has the chops for designing desktop-class CPUs. What sort of benchmarks will Intel come up with to makes the M-series seem inferior to Intel’s best consumer chips?

    1. I certainly hope that the M2 series comes outin 2021. Apple needs the next phase of the M series chips to move to the high end of the iMac and top end of the MacBook Pro lines. Then Apple should move to the M2 series for the full blown, apple Silicon

  2. DigiTimes has not had a great track record for accurate predictions. Plus, 55,000 wafers a month really does not qualify for “production volumes”. IF true it is very significant and implies by summer 2023 TSMC will likely hit full production volumes (> 100,000 wafers a month).

  3. It’s hard to wrap your head around something as small as three nanometers (frankly, it’s hard to wrap ANYTHING around something that small), but these stats should help:

    A sheet of paper is about 100,000 nanometers thick
    A strand of human DNA is 2.5 nanometers in diameter. Your average bacterium is 1,000 times larger.
    A human hair is roughly 100,000 nanometers wide
    One nanometer is about as long as your fingernail grows in one second

    If this isn’t proof of alien technology, I don’t know what is.

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