Apple Supplier TSMC to Make Next-Gen 3nm Chips at U.S. Plant: Report

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC), Apple’s primary chip supplier and the largest contract chipmaker in the world, is planning to produce next-generation 3-nanometre chips at its under-construction manufacturing facility in the U.S. state of Arizona — reports Reuters.

TSMC founder Morris Chang, who has retired but remains influential within the company, said on Monday that a 3nm plant would be installed at the $12 billion USD Arizona factory alongside a planned 5nm plant. However, he cautioned that the plans have not been “completely finalized” as of yet.

“Three-nanometre, TSMC right now has a plan, but it has not been completely finalized,” Chang told the press. “It has almost been finalized – in the same Arizona site, phase two. Five-nanometre is phase one, 3-nanometre is phase two.”

Apple is expected to be one of the first companies to adopt 3nm silicon, starting with the M3 chip for Macs and the A17 Bionic chip for iPhone 15 Pro models next year. According to previous reports, TSMC was planning to begin mass production of 3nm chips at existing plants in the second half of this year.

TSMC’s Arizona chip factory isn’t expected to become operational until at least 2024. The company is holding a “tool-in” ceremony at the facility on December 6. Apple CEO Tim Cook has already told employees that the company plans to source chips from this factory once it is up and running, as part of the tech giant’s ongoing efforts to diversify its supply chain beyond China.

TSMC’s 3nm chips will be based on its advanced N3 process node. The chipmaker is claiming a 70% increase in logic density, up to 15% improvement in speed at the same power target, and up to 30% lower power consumption at the same speed as compared to its predecessor.