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TSMC Set for Major Expansion in 3nm Chip Production with Diverse Clientele in 2024

Tech Giant Anticipates 80% Capacity Utilization in 3nm Process as Major Players like NVIDIA and AMD Join Apple in Placing Orders
Taiwan
t 2330.TW Blue Chip 150 Tech 350 Semicon 75
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Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), a leader in the semiconductor industry, is poised for a significant breakthrough in its 3nm manufacturing process in 2024. After a year of mass production, TSMC expects a substantial increase in customer acquisition and capacity utilization.

A report from the South Korean outlet The Elec anticipates that in addition to Apple, other technology giants such as NVIDIA, AMD, Qualcomm, and MediaTek are projected to order the second generation of TSMC’s 3nm process within the year. This move is expected to ramp up TSMC’s capacity utilization of its 3nm process to 80% by year-end.

Chinese tech media ICsmart, quoting from the report, indicated that although TSMC commenced mass production of its 3nm process in December 2022, the first-generation 3nm process (N3B) had limited clientele, with Apple being the primary customer throughout 2023. Other companies like MediaTek and Qualcomm initially opted for the 4nm process due to cost considerations.

However, 2024 is shaping up to be a turning point, as more companies, including Apple, are expected to adopt the cost-effective second generation of the 3nm process (N3E). This move is likely to significantly enhance TSMC’s overall production capacity for the 3nm process.

The adoption of the N3E process is anticipated across various chip companies for their upcoming products. Qualcomm is preparing for the launch of its Snapdragon 8 Gen 4, MediaTek is developing the Dimensity 9400, and Apple is working on its M3 Ultra chip and A18 Pro processor. Additionally, AMD’s Zen 5 CPU and RDNA 4 GPU, along with NVIDIA’s Blackwell architecture GPU, are expected to utilize the N3E process. The Apple M3 Ultra chip is rumored to debut in an updated Mac Studio around mid-year.

Despite initial expectations of steady growth in early 2023, TSMC’s 3nm process saw limited expansion due to its exclusive reliance on Apple. However, with the anticipated influx of orders from multiple tech giants in 2024, TSMC is expected to experience a significant rebound. The company’s monthly production is projected to reach 100,000 wafers, with the 3nm production capacity utilization rate soaring to 80% by the end of 2024. This expansion marks a significant milestone for TSMC, reinforcing its position as a key player in the semiconductor industry.

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