Discussion Leading Edge Foundry Node advances (TSMC, Samsung Foundry, Intel)

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Ajay

Lifer
Jan 8, 2001
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^Paywalled, but from elsewhere TSMC sure is making a huge investment in the USA. When all plants are completed, they will output up to 600,000 wafers/yr. I wonder if this will deep-six Intel's foundry plans.
 

DisEnchantment

Golden Member
Mar 3, 2017
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PHOENIX, Arizona, Dec. 6, 2022 – TSMC (TWSE: 2330, NYSE: TSM) today announced that in addition to TSMC Arizona’s first fab, which is scheduled to begin production of N4 process technology in 2024, TSMC has also started the construction of a second fab which is scheduled to begin production of 3nm process technology in 2026
F21P2 added for N3, HVM 2026
 

Ajay

Lifer
Jan 8, 2001
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Of course not. TSMC's keeping them on an N-1 node, but Apple needs the latest for their flagship chips.
And, apparently, Apple won't be moving any N-1 production for older products back from Taiwan to the USA - which makes sense when I think about it.
 

Ajay

Lifer
Jan 8, 2001
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Also, Ian Cutress did the math for us. 600k wafers per year is only 50kwpm - so two plants will be producing about 1/2 the output of a Gigafab. Sounds a bit odd to me that a $40B investment doesn't even match the output of a Gigafab!
 
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Doug S

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Feb 8, 2020
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Interestingly, despite the fact that Tim Cook will attend the upcoming celebratory event headlined by President Biden, Apple is not expected to be using any of the Arizona based Fabs for it's SoCs.

Sure they will, Apple doesn't sell only products on with leading edge chips. They will still be selling iPhone 14 until Sept 2024, there might be an iPhone SE that uses an N5/N4 chip even longer. Ditto for Macs.

Cook said Apple would be "the biggest customer" at this TSMC fab, though that's not saying much since Apple is something crazy like 25% of TSMC's revenue.
 

maddie

Diamond Member
Jul 18, 2010
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Also, Ian Cutress did the math for us. 600k wafers per year is only 50kwpm - so two plants will be producing about 1/2 the output of a Gigafab. Sounds a bit odd to me that a $40B investment doesn't even match the output of a Gigafab!
Maybe one of the reasons that the ex-CEO claimed Arizona product would be ~50% more costly than Taiwanese.
 
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Ajay

Lifer
Jan 8, 2001
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Dang, somehow got an entirely different URL pasted into my post o_O. I did have that tab open, weird.
 

Saylick

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Sep 10, 2012
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Maybe one of the reasons that the ex-CEO claimed Arizona product would be ~50% more costly than Taiwanese.
Hm... I have to guess that the price increase includes the need to ship the completed dies back to Asia where the majority of the packaging and substrate manufacturing is located. I mean, isn't one of the primary benefits of having things fabbed in Asia (specifically Taiwan) is that most, if not all, of the assembly process is within the same region? When you look at a modern AMD CPU for example, it says "Diffused in Taiwan, Assembled in Malaysia" or something like that, no? If so, it kind of defeats the point in diversifying TSMC fabs because it's just one part of the overall production line. Seems like I should look into whether or not the other key players are also opening up shop in Arizona...
 

Doug S

Golden Member
Feb 8, 2020
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Hm... I have to guess that the price increase includes the need to ship the completed dies back to Asia where the majority of the packaging and substrate manufacturing is located. I mean, isn't one of the primary benefits of having things fabbed in Asia (specifically Taiwan) is that most, if not all, of the assembly process is within the same region? When you look at a modern AMD CPU for example, it says "Diffused in Taiwan, Assembled in Malaysia" or something like that, no? If so, it kind of defeats the point in diversifying TSMC fabs because it's just one part of the overall production line. Seems like I should look into whether or not the other key players are also opening up shop in Arizona...
I saw some people trying to bring this to the attention of those writing the CHIPS bill. Whether money for the less sexy pre and post production stuff was included or it is all for fabs I don't know.
 

moinmoin

Diamond Member
Jun 1, 2017
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Maybe one of the reasons that the ex-CEO claimed Arizona product would be ~50% more costly than Taiwanese.
Aside overall production line being local to Asia as mentioned, the building knowledge as well as fab configuration is likely very optimized locally as well. TSMC organically builds from R&D to Gigafabs, equipment is likely shared and reused to a degree and there is some flexibility of multiple fabs being situated close to each other. Ground up new fabs far away from there obviously can't profit of all that.
 

Ajay

Lifer
Jan 8, 2001
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Sure they will, Apple doesn't sell only products on with leading edge chips. They will still be selling iPhone 14 until Sept 2024, there might be an iPhone SE that uses an N5/N4 chip even longer. Ditto for Macs.

Cook said Apple would be "the biggest customer" at this TSMC fab, though that's not saying much since Apple is something crazy like 25% of TSMC's revenue.
Yeah, the article I read was clearly wrong. It's looking like more and more of these n-1/2 are SoCs going into older/cheaper products that will be assembled in India. Interesting changes ahead in Apple's global manufacturing chain.
 

Ajay

Lifer
Jan 8, 2001
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I just ran across and interesting video on TSMC in the US. One curious point, to me, is that the CHIPS act doesn't appear to have targeted the semiconductor supply chain like I thought it was supposed to (for example, in packaging). Anyway - I thought it might be a good video for those participating in this thread.

 

FlameTail

Senior member
Dec 15, 2021
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Will the transition to GAAFET transistors help SRAM scaling kick back into action?

As I understand it, current SRAM use FinFETs, which seemed to have finally hit a wall. Since GAAFET is the successor of FinFET, it should circumvent this problem right? Atleast for short-medium term?
 
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moinmoin

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Jun 1, 2017
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Are Intel's ambitious fab plans breaking apart again?


"The company had said construction was expected to begin in the first half of next year, with production planned to come online in 2027.

But Intel now sees a “difficult market situation” and can no longer commit to the planned start date for construction, Volksstimme reported, pointing to increased costs and a call for higher government subsidies.
"
 
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Roland00Address

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Dec 17, 2008
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Are Intel's ambitious fab plans breaking apart again?


"The company had said construction was expected to begin in the first half of next year, with production planned to come online in 2027.

But Intel now sees a “difficult market situation” and can no longer commit to the planned start date for construction, Volksstimme reported, pointing to increased costs and a call for higher government subsidies.
"
I can argue a good faith reason why this is occurring, a bad faith one, and so on and so on. Many possibilities it is unknowable but it is speculative and projective remains.

Pretty much higher interest rates makes it more expensive to build fabs, but will also lower demand for fabs, so it is a feedback loop where higher interest rates makes this part of the market less necessary. Likewise there is a demand that is psychic that people really do want more tech, more smart stuff, so on and so on, but higher interest rates delay that to a slightly farther future.
 

Exist50

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