According to media reports, TSMC held a technical seminar on June 21. At the event, TSMC CEO, CC Wei said that the 7nm process chip has already begun mass production. He also revealed that TSMC’s 5nm process will be put into mass production by the end of 2019 or early 2020.
At present, TSMC has occupied a dominant position on the 7nm process node, winning large orders from many top brands. TSMC’s latest InFO technology has been approved by Apple, enabling it to obtain orders for the A12 processor. As you know, this chip should appear on the forthcoming iPhones. In addition, in the second half of this year, TSMC will also produce new chips for more than a dozen customers such as Huawei (Kirin), Qualcomm, AMD, and NVIDIA.
(7nm process chips)
As for GPUs, it’s expected the first 7nm graphics cards will head to the market in 2019. Currently, Nvidia will be using 12nm chips from TSMC for its upcoming generation of GPUs. Therefore, we have to wait for a little more until some next-gen GPUs arrive on the 7nm TSMC process node. If so, AMD may be a little ahead of the curve in terms of 7nm and we may even see the first 7nm CPU and/or GPU products later this year.
According to some sources, the improved 7nm with EUV (Extreme Ultraviolet) lithography will feature in the first tape-outs towards the back half of this year and will be mass-produced next year. At the same time, 5nm will be trial-started in the first half of 2019.
We also know Samsung and TSMC are competing to grab Apple’s orders. Although Samsung has basically lost orders for OEMs for Apple’s processors in recent years, it allegedly worked hard and hopes to recapture some of Apple’s processors from TSMC in 2019.
In order to achieve this goal, Samsung is “fully striving” to develop InFO’s packaging technology and claims to be ahead of TSMC in producing chips using the 7-nm EUV lithography process.