Apple chip supplier TSMC is planning to manufacture chips with a 2nm fabrication process by 2024, according to Nikkei Asia.
TSMC plans to build a new factory on 50 acres of land for two-nanometer chips in Hsinchu, Taiwan, scheduled to begin manufacturing operations in 2024. Construction has been cleared to begin in early 2022, with equipment being installed in 2023.
For context, if Apple continues with its current naming system for its custom silicon chips, we may tentatively expect the first 2nm Apple chips to be the “A18” or the “M5.” While there have not been any reports of Apple planning to move to a 2nm process yet, it seems inevitable that the company will do so in tandem with TSMC since it is Apple’s sole processor supplier with an expansive manufacturing capacity.
TSMC’s manufacturing capabilities are also considerably more advanced than rival companies like Intel, which have been mired by delays and stagnation with older manufacturing processes, enabling Apple, as a major TSMC client, to maintain a competitive edge with its custom silicon chips. Earlier this week, Intel announced plans to make chips for Qualcomm.
The A14 and M1 chip debuted in devices last year and were Apple’s first chips to be manufactured with a 5nm fabrication process. Apple is believed to have already booked an order with TSMC for 4nm custom silicon chips, which are due to begin production this year, ahead of the supplier offering 3nm chips from 2022. 2nm chips in 2024 would be another progression of this miniaturization process.
TSMC is undergoing a rapid global expansion to meet demand, building a 5nm chip facility in Arizona and expanding its 28nm factory in Nanjing, China, while also weighing up the possibility of opening new factories in Japan and Germany.