Rumors emanating from purported Taiwanese supply chain sources are stoking fears that TSMC’s 2nm mass production schedule might be delayed from 2025 to 2026. TechNews.tw reports (h/t TrendForce) that construction at the pivotal Hsinchu Baoshan Fab 20 has “begun to slow down.” It implies the slowdown is due to management seeing “sluggish” demand. Take the rumors with a healthy dose of salt for now.
We wrote about TSMC’s 2nm development and implementation plans in mid-August. To recap, the contract semiconductor manufacturing giant is building three new fabs in Taiwan to deliver 2nm output: one in Hsinchu Baoshan, (Taiwan’s Silicon Valley, in the North of the island), one in Taichung Zhongke (Central), and one in Kaohsiung Nanzi (South). The original plans were to run pilot production in 2024, with mass production of 2nm (TSMC N2) products in H2 2025.
As highlighted above, TSMC’s Hsinchu plans would seem to be pivotal as this is the heart of its operations, and next to its R&D Center. We mentioned that sluggish demand from TSMC customers might be making the semiconductor manufacturer cautious at continuing apace. The source publication says that TSMC customers appear to be reticent to put in firm orders at this time. This, according to the rumors, might prompt TSMC to slow things down a little and push its first 2nm mass production plans to 2026.
Another nagging doubt regarding TSMC’s shift from 3nm class production to 2nm is that it will also transition from FinFET to Gate-All-Around (GAA) transistor architecture. Samsung has already leapt this hurdle for its current 3nm output.
Naturally, talk of delays to TSMC 2nm plans have got analysts buzzing over the potential impact in this highly competitive industry. TrendForce made the chart above, and there is also chatter over the potential of a TSMC 2nm schedule change being an opportunity for Samsung.
We can’t be sure if the old proverb about smoke and fire rings true here. For a start, it is currently difficult to grasp that there may be “sluggish” demand for an advanced TSMC node with the momentum behind AI technology and so on. Perhaps, it is just a little early for customers to firm up orders for H2 2025. Moreover, TrendForce says that TSMC has responded to the rumors by stating “factory construction is currently progressing according to the planned schedule.”
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Mark Tyson is a Freelance News Writer at Tom's Hardware US. He enjoys covering the full breadth of PC tech; from business and semiconductor design to products approaching the edge of reason.
Can we use N2 instead of "2nm" as nothing is 2nm in these processes.Reply