TSMC’s 3nm production plans appear to have run into a hitch, prompting delays that may last up to four months. As a result, all potential clients of the foundry, including Apple, AMD, and even Intel may have to delay certain products. Without a doubt, Apple will be affected the most as it’s the first adopter of TSMC’s advanced process nodes. AMD and Intel might work around it as their 3nm products are slated to enter mass production in 2023.
One man’s loss is another’s gain (in this case, foundry’s). Samsung and Intel have essentially been given a chance to catch up to the Taiwanese foundry, or at the very least, reduce the gap. Samsung is planning to start volume production of its 4LPE and 5LPP process nodes sometime in 2021, allowing consumers to opt for either depending on their PPA needs. While the 5nm LPE and LPP node mainly focus on transistor density and performance, the 4nm LPP node primarily improves power efficiency and performance.
Meanwhile, Intel is planning to start the mass production of its 7nm (Intel 4) node in the first half of 2023, with the 5nm (Intel 3) node slated to begin initial production in the second half of 2023. The chipmaker will continue to manufacture nearly all its CPUs (except some Ponte Vecchio HPC tiles) in-house. The Xe-HPG and HPC graphics cards, however, will leverage TSMC’s 6nm and 5nm process nodes, respectively.