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Apple's A14 and a14x processors have been mass produced in TSMC by 5nm process. It is expected that the new desktop computer a14t processor and Apple's own graphics processor (GPU) will be launched next year, and TSMC's 5nm process will also be used for chip production. According to supply chain industry sources, Apple has started to develop a new generation of A15 series processors. It is expected to adopt TSMC's 5nm enhanced version (n5p) process, and will start to launch in the third quarter of next year.


Apple launched its new iPad and iPhone 12 product line in the second half of this year, using its own A14 series processors, including A14 application processors for the iPad air and iPhone 12, and the ambook, which will be released in November, will use its own a14x processor. Apple A14 and a14x have been produced in 5nm process in TSMC.

Apple has announced that it will launch Apple silicon's arm architecture processor to replace Intel x86 architecture CPU. In fact, since Apple developed the first A4 application processor applied to iPhone and iPad in 2010, a series of chips have experienced 10 generations of evolution. The learning curve of research and development and mass production of its own arm architecture chip has also gone for 10 years. The performance of operation efficiency and low power consumption is better than expected. It is expected to convert MacBook and IMAC processors into Apple silicon designed by their own in two years.

In addition to the first apple silicon processor a14x applied to MacBook, it has adopted the 5nm mass production of TSMC. According to apple supply chain news, Apple will launch the first self-developed GPU with R & D code lifuka next year, and the R & D code is Mt.Jade The first desktop computer processor a14t, both chips will be used in the first half of next year with a 5nm TSMC process.

Apple R & D team also started to develop a new generation of A15 series processors. Among them, A15 bionic application processor applied to Apple's new iPhone 13 series 5g smart phone next year is expected to adopt the 5nm enhanced n5p process launched by TSMC next year, and will start to put into production in the third quarter of next year, and the subsequent production includes the second generation Apple such as a15x and a15t Silicon will also be launched later, and it is estimated that the production process of TSMC n5p will be used.

The company said that Apple's iPhone, iPad, macbook and IMAC product lines have entered the generation of A14 series processors, and the development of the new A15 series processors is in line with expectations, and will become the largest customer of 5nm of TSMC next year. Due to the launch of 5nm products next year, including Qualcomm, Botong, mwell, super power and united development technology, TSMC is optimistic that TSMC will maintain full capacity in the whole year next year.

● Taiji electric power company is strong in 3nm, and it is firmly seated at the global EUV leader ●

ASML, the company's largest producer of TSMC, said last week that it would disclose more details of 3nm. The FinFET architecture and EUV micro shadow technology are adopted in the 3 nm of TSMC. The logical density will increase by 70% compared with 5nm, and the number of EUV covers will multiply and exceed 20 layers. Therefore, TSMC actively purchases EUV exposure equipment, and will still be a semiconductor factory with the largest EUV capacity in the world in the next three to five years, including suppliers such as Jiadeng and Chongyue.


TSMC EUV lithography technology has entered mass production, and the process covers 7 + nm, 6nm, 5nm. According to the equipment industry, TSMC 7 + nm adopts EUV optical mask with up to four layers. The new generation Zen 3 architecture processor of Chaowei is expected to use this process for mass production. 6nm has entered mass production in the fourth quarter, and the number of layers of EUV mask is increased by one layer compared with 7 + nm. Large factories such as MediaTek, Huida and Intel will adopt 6nm to produce new generation products.

TSMC will start mass production of 5nm process in the second half of the year, mainly for Apple's A14 and a14x processors, including Galway, Qualcomm, Huida, Intel, Broadcom, and Marvell, etc. will introduce 5nm process to mass produce new generation products after next year. The maximum number of 5nm EUV mask layers can reach 14 layers. Therefore, Fab 18 plant has built a huge EUV exposure machine. In response to strong demand, TSMC will launch a 5nm enhanced n5p process and introduce it into mass production next year. In the following year, it will launch a 5nm optimized 4nm process. Equipment manufacturers expect that the number of layers of n5p and 4nm EUV masks will increase compared with 5nm.

TSMC announced at a recent conference that 3nm R & D progress is in line with expectations and will be another major process node. Compared with the 5nm process, 3nm logic density can be increased by 70%, the operation efficiency can be improved by 15% under the same power consumption, and the power consumption can be reduced by 30% under the same operation efficiency. For the first time, the number of EUV mask layers used in the 3nm process has exceeded 20 layers, and the industry estimates that the maximum number of layers can reach 24.

ASML CEO Peter wennink pointed out at a recent conference that the number of EUV mask layers used in 5nm logic process will exceed 10, and that in 3nm process will exceed 20. With the process miniaturization, the number of EUV mask layers will increase significantly and replace the deep ultraviolet (DUV) multiple exposure process.

TSMC's 5nm and 3nm EUV mask layers have increased in multiples. Jiadeng, which provides EUV pod, has benefited the most. The production capacity of this year and next year has been fully reserved by major customers. As for the EUV production capacity increased significantly, the agent of EUV photoresist Chongyue orders, orders are also scheduled to the second half of next year.

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