[News] TSMC Reportedly Attracts Influx of 3nm Customers, Predicts Production Capacity Utilization to Surge to 80% by Year-End

2024-01-04 Semiconductors TrendForce

With its 3nm manufacturing process in mass production for approximately a year, TSMC is expected to have a breakthrough in customer acquisition and capacity utilization in 2024.

According to predictions from a South Korean outlet The Elec, aside from Apple, customers such as NVIDIA, AMD, Qualcomm, and MediaTek are expected to place orders for the second generation of the 3nm process within the year. This is anticipated to significantly boost TSMC’s 3nm process capacity utilization to 80% by the end of the year.

Chinese tech media ICsmart further quoted from the report, stating that although TSMC announced the mass production of its 3nm process in December 2022, the first-generation 3nm process (N3B) had only one customer throughout 2023, which was Apple. Companies like MediaTek and Qualcomm opted for the 4nm process due to cost considerations.

However, the report suggests that in 2024, more companies, in addition to Apple, are expected to place orders for the more cost-effective second generation of the 3nm process (N3E). This is anticipated to boost TSMC’s overall production capacity for the 3nm process.

Several chip companies are expected to adopt the N3E process for their new products. The report suggests that TSMC’s customers for this process may include Qualcomm, which is gearing up to launch the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 4, MediaTek with its next-generation Dimensity 9400, Apple with its M3 Ultra chip and A18 Pro processor, AMD with the Zen 5 CPU and RDNA 4 GPU, and NVIDIA with the Blackwell architecture GPU. Notably, the Apple M3 Ultra chip might make its debut in the upgraded Mac Studio around mid-year.

The report notes that TSMC initially anticipated steady growth for the 3nm process in early 2023 as yields improved, but with only Apple as a customer, the “steady growth” of the 3nm process negatively impacted TSMC’s performance.

The report suggests that with TSMC’s new orders from customers beyond Apple for the 3nm process, a considerable rebound is expected. Monthly production is projected to reach 100,000 wafers by 2024, and the 3nm production capacity utilization rate is poised to soar to 80% by the end of 2024.

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(Photo credit: TSMC)

Please note that this article cites information from ICsmart and The Elec