TSMC chairman Morris Chang will preside over the upcoming ground-breaking ceremony. This will be the last ceremony of its kind to be presided over by Chang before his retirement in mid-June.
According to DigiTimes, TSMC has taken the lead to start 7nm process volume production, captured all 7nm chip fabrication production, and outbid Samsung to win orders for fabricating all the application processors needed for iPhone devices on the 7nm process. To keep ahead TSMC wants to get its foot in the door of 5nm production as soon as possible, industry watchers opined.
According to TSMC schedules, the 5nm fab will kick off a trial run in the first quarter of 2019 before volume production in 2020. The company has funnelled hundreds of engineers into the R&D of the 3nm process, and its 3nm fab is slated to start an official run in 2022, expected to cluster more upstream equipment and materials suppliers and downstream packaging and testing players. The 3nm fab is expected to attract aggregate investment funds of around $25.69 billion.
Samsung is proceeding with the development of the 4nm process, seeking to rival TSMC's 5nm node. It is not clear if this is going to be better than TSMC's process yet.