TSMC confirmed earlier reports about its plans to build a new fab in a new science park planned by the Taiwanese government near the city of Kaohsiung. Without unanticipated delays, the plant could be ready for 5nm volume production in 2020, before kicking off volume production of 3nm chips in 2022.
EE Times provides more background information and writes TSMC's current plan is to implement extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography for 5nm. EUV has faced a lot of delays so we'll just have to wait and see if this is possible. ASML has made a lot of advances but at the moment EUV is still not ready for mass production.
The company said that it is still undecided on whether it will adopt extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography for 5 nm and 3 nm.
“Our current plan is to use EUV extensively for 5 nm,” Sun said. “That’s under the assumption that EUV can be ready.”
The company said that it will ramp 7 nm in 2017, followed by 5 nm in 2019, to support smartphones and high-end mobile products with new features, including virtual reality and augmented reality.
While this all sounds impressive, skeptics point out that there's a lot of nanometermarketing going on at foundries like TSMC. The TSMC 7nm process for example isn't much better than a 10nm node, whereas the 5nm is expected to be similar to a 7nm node and the 3nm will be comparable to 5nm.