Fab 14 is supposed to churn out 20nm SoCs and according to Taiwanese media it will open on April 20, two months ahead of schedule. If nothing goes wrong, it will begin volume production by the end of Q2, with shipments ramping up in the second half of the year, reports Focus Taiwan.
Observers believe TSMC’s 20nm process could help it land some orders from Apple. It has been rumoured for months that Apple wouldn’t mind building its A7 chips at TSMC.
All this might be very bad news for Samsung. The Korean giant is apparently struggling to produce enough 28nm Exynos 5 chips for its flagship Galaxy S4, yet TSMC is already gunning for 20nm. In theory, Qualcomm, Nvidia and other ARM players could have 20nm SoC designs as early as next year, while Samsung is still ironing out its 28nm process.