The biggest news that has been leaked now is that it’s almost confirmed that Intel will indeed use TSMC’s 3nm process nodes for its upcoming products. A recent report from China’s Taiwan Economic Daily said that TSMC’s supply chain has revealed that Intel will lead Apple and be the first to use TSMC’s 3nm process to produce graphics chips and server processors.
It has been rumoured that Intel might use TSMC’s process nodes for their own products in the future as they lag in their own semiconductors. It is being reported that these chips will be made at TSMC’s 18b factory in Q2 next year, and mass production will start in July next year.
So, even before Apple, Intel looks to use TSMC’s cutting edge 3nm process as it is getting heavily dominated by AMD even in the server processor segment as well. Not only this, Intel looks to step into the GPU market this year with their Xe HPG gaming GPUs and further use TSMC’s process nodes to improve their next-gen GPU offering.
This leak totally matches with this rumour, we previously reported: TSMC’s 3nm process will finally be adopted by Intel for its data centre CPUs
Interestingly, the actual mass production time is one year earlier than the original plan, which goes to show Intel’s urgency to bounce back into the market they once dominated under its new CEO, Pat Gelsinger. Intel is also building its own fabs and expanding its capacity in the next five years as it laid out its multi-year roadmap.
Now, on becoming the first customer of TSMC’s 3nm, TSMC also stated that it would not comment on customers’ orders. However, TSMC Chairman Liu Deyin recently faced shareholders’ questions about how Intel’s stepping into foundry would be, and emphasized that “Intel is a customer of TSMC, and he believes that Intel will also adopt TSMC’s innovative technology.”
So, according to his remarks, Intel’s use of TSMC’s most innovative technology – the advanced 3nm EUV manufacturing process seems to have long been decided. ITHome reported that TSMC’s supply chain even revealed that TSMC is currently intensively installing 3nm plant equipment to welcome Intel as its heavyweight customer.
The supply chain has leaked Intel’s orders for TSMC includes one graphics chip and three server processors, as the Blue team’s core products. The first batch of products is about 4,000 pieces, which should be completed in the 12th factory of TSMC while finalized product design has been moved to Nanke 18b for mass production.
So, by next May, these four products will be delivered even before schedule and expect some kind of announcement at the start of 2022 or in the mid-way.