The rivalry between TSMC and Samsung is never-ending. And right now, the Korean tech giant appears to have a leg up over its competitor in next-gen manufacturing technologies. Reports say that the economic climate has affected TSMC's original plans for 2nm-based production, which means Samsung could beat its rival to the punch.
Samsung might become the first chipmaker to have the capability of manufacturing 2nm chips, much like it was the first to mass-manufacture 3nm solutions.
Industry watchers are now considering the possibility that they may have miscalculated how long it will take TSMC to construct its 2nm chip manufacturing plant in Baoshan, Taiwan. The facility might become operational later than anticipated, and the delay would give Samsung the advantage.
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TSMC might not be ready for 2nm chips before Samsung
TSMC was moving so quickly toward 2nm chip production that industry watchers estimated the Taiwanese semiconductor giant would be ready to mass produce 2nm-based chips in early 2025.
However, TSMC recently slowed down its progress at Baoshan in light of slower demand for chips, and industry insiders (via PulseNews) believe that TSMC will delay its 2nm chip production beyond the initial timeframe. The original roadmap may no longer reflect TSMC's actual progress toward 2nm chips.
In light of these delays, experts estimate that TSMC won't be ready to produce 2nm chips in early 2025 but should have a capacity of 30,000 2nm wafers as early as Q4 of that year.
This could mean TSMC might lose the race to Samsung by a few months. The Korean tech giant is expected to begin 2nm-based chip production in 2025. It's also aiming to have the capacity to manufacture 1.4nm-based chips in 2027.
Samsung also has the upper hand in GAA (Gate-All-Around) technology, which can be used to manufacture chips with a higher energy efficiency. Although Samsung has successfully applied GAA techniques to 3nm manufacturing, TSMC is facing difficulties and has lagged behind its Korean rival.