TSMC Celebrates Making Over a Billion 7nm Chips

2020-08-20

In a little over two years, TSMC has produced enough functional 7nm chips to cover 13 Manhattan city blocks. That translates to one billion 7nm chips overall, a milestone that TSMC passed in July, according to a new post on the company’s .

TSMC began producing 7nm chips in April 2018, and has since “manufactured 7nm chips for well over 100 products from dozens of customers.” These customers include AMD, Apple, Qualcomm, and at least , HiSilicon. To compare TSMC to another major chipmaker, Intel announced last month that it is its 7nm chips “until late 2022 or early 2023.”

Each of TSMC’s 7nm chips also has at least one billion transistors inside it, meaning that the company has made more than one quintillion 7nm transistors overall.

Part of what allowed TSMC to hit this goal was the EUV lithography technology it introduced this generation. EUV lithography uses “extreme ultraviolet light” to print nanometer-scale features more easily. Creating EUV light requires hitting small droplets of tin with pulses from a powerful source laser to turn them into plasma, a difficult process that TSMC was the first company to bring into commercial production.

The company is now applying the technology it pioneered with its 7nm process in making , with orders confirmed to be coming from companies like AMD and Nvidia. It is also looking to open , such as a fab planned to come to Arizona as early as late 2023.