TSMC has only begun gearing 5 nm up for volume production, but its plans for an even smaller, more advanced process node are already falling into place. The world’s top semiconductor foundry has purchased 30 hectares of land for the construction of a 3 nm fab, an endeavor that is estimated to be worth $19.5 billion. Production could begin as early as late 2022.
The reported 2023 schedule for 3nm volume production would be noteworthy as TSMC has opted for at most a two-year cadence for all of its nodes since 20nm in late 2014. In general, TSMC has opted for shrinks of at most 2x density scaling with a more steady cadence, while Intel introduced the term hyperscaling at 10nm to describe its ambitious 2.7x scaling on 10nm and 2.5x on 14nm.