MEMS and Sensors

Report: Broadcom places order for TSMC’s 3 nm chips

12 January 2023

Broadcom has placed an order with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) for its 3 nm semiconductor manufacturing when it is up and running.

According to a report from DigiTimes, Broadcom joins a growing list of companies wanting to use TSMC’s state-of-the-art process technology that includes Apple, Qualcomm, MediaTek, Nvidia and AMD. This would put Broadcom in the queue for the leading pure-play foundry’s N3 and N3E processes.

Late in December of 2022, TSMC announced it has successfully entered volume production with its 3 nm process at a ceremony held at its Fab 18, where the 3 nm process technology would be used.

TSMC is also putting in a 3 nm line in its upcoming Arizona fab, which is currently under construction. TSMC recently announced it would build a second fab in Arizona next to the current facility, which is also now under construction.

The 3 nm process is a semiconductor technology in both power, performance and area and in transistor technology. It is a full-node advancement from the 5 nm generation. TSMC said compared to 5 nm, 3 nm offers up to 1.6 times logic density gain and 30% to 35% power reduction at the same speed.

In November of 2022, Apple said it will source chips from TSMC’s Arizona fab in a move to help reduce its reliance on Asia for manufacturing of its processors for portable devices and computers. Additionally, Apple said it may expand its supply of chips from plants in Europe as part of its efforts to reduce reliance on chip manufacturing found in Asia.

Meanwhile, some of these same companies planning to use TSMC are also going to be using Intel’s Foundry Services for semiconductor manufacturing in the U.S. Intel has already signed up Amazon and Qualcomm as customers, and maybe more interesting, Taiwan-based MediaTek.

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