Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) is taking bold strides toward the future of semiconductor technology, planning to manufacture next-generation 2-nanometer (nm) chips at a new plant in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Reports detail that the date for mass production remains undecided, with the company also targeting Hsinchu County in northern Taiwan for 2nm production by 2025.
Kaohsiung to Become TSMC’s Second Hub for 2nm Chips; Mayor Commits Support for $6 Billion Initiative
This latest development follows the recent discovery of Samsung’s 3nm chips being used in a commercial setting, a milestone in the industry. TSMC’s 2nm chips, boasting processing speeds 10% to 15% faster than their 3nm counterparts, could significantly transform industries like artificial intelligence (AI) and bitcoin (BTC) mining.
Nikkei reports that the Kaohsiung plant, currently under construction, will be the second hub for these advanced semiconductors, following Hsinchu county. The decision comes after a board meeting on Tuesday, where the company allocated roughly $6 billion for capital investments in Taiwan, with a portion going toward the Kaohsiung facility.
The company’s plans reflect a shift in focus, as it originally intended to produce older legacy semiconductors in Kaohsiung. However, a change in plans was considered following the flagging demand for computer chips, which started after the pandemic. The new venture towards 2nm chips aligns with the global trend of advancing chip technology, aiming to meet the demands of fields like AI and cloud computing.
Nikkei staff reporter Hideaki Ryugen disclosed that Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chi-mai expressed support for TSMC’s new initiative, committing to adjustments to water and electricity supply to ensure smooth construction. Ryugen further noted that TSMC is also seeking a site for a new plant in Taichung, which could become its third 2nm chip hub in Taiwan.
In the context of the broader industry, TSMC’s advancement towards 2nm chips echoes the recent discovery of Samsung’s 3nm Gate-All-Around (GAA) semiconductor in Microbt’s Whatsminer M56S++ bitcoin mining rig. This marked the first known application of the 3nm technology, discovered by Techinsights. Samsung’s breakthrough has long been speculated, and its commercialization can aid in the production of even more advanced chips.
The discovery of Samsung’s 3nm chip in the bitcoin mining machine is a crucial development, enhancing performance and energy efficiency. The Whatsminer M56S++ bitcoin mining rig produces an estimated 230 to 254 terahash per second (TH/s), and the utilization of Samsung’s technology could be a harbinger of things to come in the industry. For instance, Microbt’s rival, Bitmain, is believed to utilize chips supplied by TSMC, the same company venturing into 2nm technology.
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