Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd (TSMC) said on Thursday that it has began mass production of the 3 nanometre chip.
“TSMC is maintaining its technology leadership while investing significantly in Taiwan, continuing to invest and prosper with the environment,” TSMC Chairman Mark Liu told a ceremony marking the production and capacity expansion in the southern city of Tainan.
Liu said demand for the firm’s 3-nanometre chip was “very strong”, driven by new technologies including 5G and high-performance computing products.
The long-awaited mass production of chips with 3-nanometre technology comes as attention focuses on the world’s largest contract chipmaker’s investment plans at home and abroad. TSMC has a dominant position as a maker of advanced chips used in technology from cellphones to fighter jets.
Liu said the mass production was successful and with good yields, adding that the new 3-nanometre technology would create end products with a market value of $1.5 trillion within five years.
Earlier this month, TSMC said it would more than triple its planned investment at its new Arizona plant to $40 billion, among the largest foreign investments in U.S. history.
The Taiwanese company, which counts Apple Inc and Nvidia Corp among its major clients, is also building a chip plant in Japan and has said it was in the early stages of reviewing a potential expansion into Germany.
In an apparent response to the concerns that TSMC’s foreign investment would undermine Taiwan’s key position in semiconductors, Liu said the production was a demonstration that TSMC was “taking concrete action to develop advanced technology and expand capacity in Taiwan.”
Taiwan’s government has dismissed concerns about a “goodbye to Taiwan” trend for the chip industry, saying the island’s position as a major semiconductor producer and maker of the most advanced chips is secure.
TSMC said it was working to build factories for the next generation 2-nanometre chips, which were planned to be manufactured in northern and central Taiwan.
- Reuters, with additional editing from Alfie Habershon