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Production of 3nm chips has begun at TSMC in Taiwan. Why is this significant for Apple and other smartphone manufacturers?

TSMC has said that it has begun producing 3nm chips at its Taiwanese factories. Apple CEO Tim Cook and the world’s largest chip manufacturer announced last month that they will be opening a chip production facility in Arizona, which would also make advantage of the new manufacturing node.

Focus Taiwan reports that today, TSMC will celebrate the launch of mass production of chips using a 3nm technology. The “Fab 18” plant in Tainan’s Southern Taiwan Science Park is where the company’s cutting-edge new chip will be manufactured.

Many observers have noted the strangeness of such a party in light of Taiwanese and TSMC culture. However, I believe the business is hoping it would help allay fears around its recent U.S. investments. Recent years have seen a tripling of such plans, from $20 to $80 billion.

The parties are meant to calm people’s concerns that TSMC may abandon Taiwan in favour of the United States. There has been concern among investors in Taiwan and the government there that TSMC may outsource much of its key designing to the United States ever since Vice President Joe Biden’s administration recruited the company to establish a manufacturing plan in the United States.

Despite its outside investments, TSMC intends to show the world at the event that it would continue to rely on Taiwan as the central core where its engineers carry out all research, development, and essential manufacturing.

It is very important for Apple and other smartphone makers that TSMC has begun producing 3nm processors. Even though TSMC believes the A16 to be a 5nm processor with enhancements, Apple still refers to it as a 4nm chip. In 2023, Macs using the M2 Pro and Max are slated to be the first Apple devices to include 3nm CPUs. In 2023, with the release of the Mac Pro M2 and Mac Pro M2 Max, the company will switch to a new production node that will allow for much greater power efficiency and significantly higher overall performance.

Although TSMC’s Arizona facilities will ramp up to 4nm chip production eventually, the cutting edge technology is more likely to emerge from the company’s Taiwan facilities. It is anticipated that 2nm mass manufacturing would begin in 2025.