24 December 2020
TSMC, a Taiwanese semiconductor manufacturer has reportedly struck a deal with Intel to supply 3nm chips. According to DigiTimes, TSMC will use its 3nm process technology to manufacture the CPU products for Intel. The report also claims that the volume production is scheduled for the second half of 2022.
Before moving further, you might need a precursor on how Intel’s own CPU manufacturing is going. Intel has not been doing good in the semiconductor business lately. In 2020, it was still focusing on 10nm-based chips when its competitors in the PC chipset manufacturing were gearing up for 5nm and 3nm-based chips, and already concentrating on the 7nm-based chips.
Last year in July, Intel made the situation transparent and announced that 7nm CPUs might not debut on the market until late 2022 or early 2023 as the yielding process had gone through some issues. However, last week, at its fourth-quarter earnings, Intel reportedly announced that its 7nm program is recovering.
Incoming Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger further said that the company will still outsource some parts even when the 7nm program looks to be on schedule. However, he is confident that the majority of Intel's 2023 CPU products will come from the company's own factories. We may hear more about the company’s plans once Gelsinger takes the seat in February.
Now, referring to the fresh report from DigiTimes, it appears Intel is getting future-ready, despite running late on the schedule compared to its competitors. Intel might be late but it is not out of business and will do every best effort to be on the track once again.
It was also reported that Intel could outsource some of its high-end chipset manufacturing by partnering with Samsung, other than TSMC.
In related coverage, TSMC has reportedly also gained orders from Apple for 3nm-based chips.