Thursday December 20, 2018

TSMC Receives Permits to Start Construction of Its 3nm Foundry

TSMC has received a permit to start construction of its 3nm chip factory at the Southern Taiwan Science Park in Tainan. Before the chipmaker could start construction, an environmental study was conducted by the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) to see if the region could supply the necessary water and electricity for the semiconductor fabrication plant. The study found that the plant will use 20% renewable energy and 50% recycled water. The same site will house the 5nm fab which will be up and running by late 2019. The 3nm foundry is expected to be put into operation by 2023.

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Last year, hundreds of engineers were involved in early research and development. At present, the 3nm wafer factory in Tainan Park has passed the initial review of the EIA. It covers an area of 28 hectares. It is located close to TSMC's 5nm factory. TSMC has kept the 3nm production schedule confidential in order to prevent its main rival Samsung from accelerating its investment. It is also because the plant has not passed the EIA test. Now with the adoption of the 3nm EIA, TSMC can successfully build the wafer plant. It will become the first wafer foundry service in the world to provide more potent AI chips.