TSMC Ramps Up 7nm Production Ahead of New iPhones

TSMC Ramps Up 7nm Production Ahead of New iPhones

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TSMC has ramped up output of 7nm chips ahead of new Apple iPhones set to debut this fall, reports DigiTimes.

The ramp-up is said to boost TSMC's 7nm production capacity to 12 million 12-inch equivalent wafers in 2018. That's up 9% from 10.5 million units last year.

Orders for Apple's custom A12 processor for use in the upcoming iPhones will play a major driver of TSMC's 7nm chip production growth in 2018, according to market sources. The foundry has secured 7nm chip orders from about 20 customers including AMD, Bitmain, Nvidia and Qualcomm. The majority of the orders will be carried out in the first half of 2019, the sources said.

CEO CC Wei confirmed the commercial production of 7nm chips and said the foundry is scheduled to move to mass production 5nm chips at the end of 2019 or early 2020. Twenty four billion USD will be invested to make the move.

"Our estimated investment in 5-nanometer technology is approximately NT$700 billion (US$24.04 billion), and total investment in Fab 18 will exceed NT$500 billion," said Morris Chang, who recently retired as chairman of the company.

TSMC will also start taping out chips built on an enhanced 7nm node with EUV in the second half the year. The node will be moved to risk production in the third quarter.

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TSMC Ramps Up 7nm Production Ahead of New iPhones