TSMC’s Roadmap: From 2nm to 1nm, Leading Semiconductor Innovation

At the end of last year, during the IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM 2023), Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) revealed that the development of its 1.4nm process node, officially named “A14,” is fully underway and progressing smoothly. This announcement marked TSMC’s first public disclosure of the development status of its 1.4nm process node. The specifics of the process’s specifications and the timeline for mass production remain undisclosed.

TSMC plans to mass-produce its 2nm process by the end of next year, with the 1.4nm process expected to debut between 2027 and 2028. However, according to the latest reports from UDN, TSMC is already planning for the even more advanced 1nm process, positioning itself as the first foundry to prepare for 1nm technology, thereby intensifying and adding intrigue to the semiconductor competition.

Previously at IEDM 2023, TSMC shared that the 1nm process, officially termed “A10,” is anticipated around 2030. With advances in packaging technologies such as CoWoS, InFO, and SoIC, TSMC expects to fabricate chips with a trillion transistors by around 2030. TSMC’s approach is somewhat akin to Intel’s, with the challenge lying in achieving this goal amidst ongoing industry struggles with yield and capacity.

The 1nm process is reported to be a costly endeavor for TSMC, with total development costs exceeding $32 billion. TSMC also plans to construct a new wafer fabrication plant for the 1nm process in Chiayi County, southern Taiwan, spanning over 100 hectares. The site will be divided into a 60/40 ratio to meet the needs of both semiconductor manufacturing and packaging.

Despite the increasing difficulty and investment required for the development of advanced processes, TSMC has not halted its progress. In addition to the 1nm factory, it is expected to build several 2nm factories.