TSMC Cleared to Start New 3nm Fab in Taiwan

/ 5 years ago


TSMC Approved To Build New 3nm Fab

To keep up with increasing demand, all the silicon manufacturers are expanding their operations. As one of the leading third-party fab, TSMC is seeing a lot of new business. Furthermore, in order to keep up with customer demands, the Taiwanese firm is building a number of new fabs. The latest to start is a new 3nm fab expected to start up in the next decade.

The new 3nm fab is located in southern Taiwan at the Southern Taiwan Science Park in Tainan. The Taiwanese Environmental Protection Administration has just given approval for construction to start. Due in part to meet government concerns, the new facility will use 20% renewable energy and 50% recycled water. As a smallish island, Taiwan is quite sensitive to energy and water usage. The company has wanted to build this fab for quite a while.

Facility Will Start Production in the 2020s

Even though there is regulatory approval, the facility is still a number of years away. The company will only be starting construction in 2020. The facility will only start producing new chips around 2022 and 2023. Since TSMC has not announced any full plans for 3nm, the timeframe gives them lots of time to work things out. It is good that TSMC is spinning up a new fab for 3nm so any delays won’t affect current production.

The initial investment is just about $19.45 million USD. This is quite low for a full fab so this is probably just the initial planning and construction. The final cost to TSMC will likely be in the 3-5 billion USD range. That is what the 5nm fab, Fab 18, starting up in 2019/2020 will cost. With the use of enhanced EUV technology and other tweaks, it may end up costing more than expected. However, as they continue to gather more customers, it will be a worthwhile investment.

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