TSMC will be transitioning to its next-generation process technology and kick off 5nm volume production in April, according to DigiTimes on Wednesday. The report cited unnamed "industry sources."
DigiTimes also claimed that TSMC's 5nm process capacity is already fully booked by clients. TSMC has forecasted to invest $2.5 billion in 5nm this year.
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This would mark a two-year cadence from TSMC's' 7nm process technology, which went into production in the first half of 2018. It would also be slightly behind Moore’s Law, as its 5nm delivers only a 1.84x improvement in density. Nevertheless, TSMC will retain the process leadership it has since its 10nm node in 2016 while Intel tries to recover from its widely documented process delays. Intel's 10nm is roughly equivalent to TSMC's 7nm in terms of transistor density.
Just as on 7nm, it is expected that Apple will be TSMC’s first (major) customer.Additionally, several bitcoin ASICs are transitioning to 5nm.