TSMC will start equipping the 2nm fab in April 2024

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TSMC is set to start installing equipment into its 2nm-capable fab in the Hsinchu Science Park in April 2024, according to a statement made by the park director, according to LTN (via @DanNystedt). This might confirm a significant development for the TSMC N2 project, as the company has never published any exact timelines for this fab.

Albeit symbolic, equipment move-in is a significant milestone in fab building. It typically takes a year to equip a fab. But when it comes to TSMC's N2 process, it requires multiple Twinscan NXE extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography tools from ASML that need installation either by TSMC or by ASML and then validation by the former, which takes time. This information comes from an unofficial source, so take it with a grab of salt.

Unless something extraordinary happens, we will see an N2-capable fab up and running in the year's second half, precisely when TSMC plans to start high-volume production: the second half of 2025 with HVM.

TSMC's N2 is a significant development that uses the company's nanosheet gate transistor, achieving better than 80% of its target specifications two years before entering HVM. The average yield of a 256Mb SRAM test IC is over 50%.

TSMC's first fab for N2 production is set to be near Baoshan, Hsinchu County, close to its R1 R&D center focusing on N2. Due to its complexity, the A14-capable fab seems to be located elsewhere in Kaohsiung Science Park. The latter is a strong contender for TSMC's 1.4nm fab, considering TSMC already employs 1,500 people directly and 500 indirectly there. This makes expanding in Kaohsiung a sensible choice. Alternatively, TSMC might consider expanding near Baoshan, where it already has significant operations, though it's unclear if there's enough land available.

Anton Shilov
Freelance News Writer

Anton Shilov is a Freelance News Writer at Tom’s Hardware US. Over the past couple of decades, he has covered everything from CPUs and GPUs to supercomputers and from modern process technologies and latest fab tools to high-tech industry trends.