The overall demand for semiconductors may decline in 2019, but the demand for high-end processors will increase due to the sales of 5G devices. TSMC, a key chip manufacturer, is preparing for this, and plans to advance the 5nm chip production process. According to the company's latest quarterly earnings conference (via DigiTimes), TSMC's new 5nm chip manufacturing process will begin mass production in the first half of 2020, so that the first batch of 5nm chips will be available at next year, catching up with 5G iPhone and other high-end products. The centralized listing period of mobile phones.
TSMC began mass production of 7nm chips last year, including the Apple A12 Bionic processor, which showed a 7-nm process performance improvement. It is reported that the A13 processor inside the iPhone and iPad in 2019 will use TSMC's second-generation 7nm chip, which will be greatly upgraded based on the existing 7nm process. By next year, the processor chip fabrication process will fully shift to the 5nm level, and by 2022 will embrace 3nm technology.
Switching to 5nm technology allows for a chip that is more compact and smaller than previous generations, while offering higher processing power to meet the higher demands of chip designers. The 5nm process is expected to reduce the previous CPU for smartphones and apply to wearable devices such as AR glasses and headsets, while using smaller batteries to deliver experiences that were previously impossible. It will also enable next year's 5G devices to deliver the same or better power than today's models at lower operating temperatures and lower power consumption.Of course, TSMC is not moving all of its production lines from the new 7nm process to the more advanced 5nm technology, but first expanding its 7nm capacity to meet growing demand (especially from manufacturers of 5G wireless devices). Lora Ho, the company's chief financial officer, expects strong demand from 5G smartphone and base station manufacturers, but not enough to completely offset the slowdown in demand for older, larger 5G front-end components. In an industry where delays in chip production can lead to catastrophic consequences, TSMC is still maintaining significant advantages with its technological advancement.