TSMC Founder Morris Chang to Retire in June 2018 as Apple's Chip Partner Plans World's First 3nm Fab

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Oct 2, 2017.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    Apple supplier Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company has announced today that its founder and chairman Morris Chang will be stepping down from all leadership positions effective June 2018, immediately following the annual shareholders meeting taking place that month (via DigiTimes and Reuters).

    Following Chang, TSMC will fall under the dual leadership of Mark Liu and C.C. Wei, with the former executive taking on the chairman of the board position and the latter becoming sole CEO of the company. Chang mentioned personal and family reasons for his retirement, and assured investors that the transfer of leadership would not change TSMC in any way, looking back on his time at the company, which he founded in 1987.

    [​IMG]
    Morris Chang via Wikimedia Commons


    Chang is now 86, and has earned a status as the father of Taiwan's chip industry.
    The plan of succession is said to have been in the works "for years," with Liu starting as a senior vice president for operations at TSMC and Wei as SVP for business development. Eventually, the two SVPs were promoted to chief operating officers in 2012, and then climbed to each gain a co-CEO status in 2013. Analysts looking at the situation see the two new leaders keeping TSMC's status quo on track "for some years."
    One of TSMC's biggest customers is Apple, and the supplier has been connected with Apple's iPhones and iPads since 2011, when reports first began coming out that Apple was looking into diversifying its supply chain. Samsung was the sole supplier of the A5 chip -- which was found in 2011 devices like the iPad 2 and iPhone 4s -- but due to patent-based legal disputes and Samsung's rise as a competitor in the mobile device market, Apple began looking towards other chipmakers from which it could source its A-series chips.

    TSMC eventually entered trial production on chips in the A5 and A6 range, but didn't officially make it into production on A-series chips until the A8 in 2014, on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Apple has still sourced some A-series generations from Samsung, most notably -- and infamously -- looking to increase volume for the iPhone 6s launch in 2015 by dual-sourcing chips from both Samsung and TSMC for the A9.

    Since then, TSMC was the sole supplier of the A10 chip for the iPhone 7 family in 2016, as well as for the A11 chips in the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and upcoming iPhone X. Still, rumors persist that Liu and Wei will face increased competition from Samsung in the chip fabrication space. The TSMC rival is planning to "triple the market share of its contract chip manufacturing business within the next five years by aggressively adding clients," potentially including a return to its previous status as an A-series supplier for Apple, although some analysts disagree.

    Read more MacRumors coverage of TSMC over the years:

    Rumored A10 Production Win for TSMC Could Be Tied to Device Packaging Advances
    How TSMC Won Back Exclusivity With Apple for the A10 Chip in iPhone 7
    Apple's Chip Partner TSMC Shares Details on 7nm Node and Advanced InFO Package Process for 2018

    Simultaneously, TSMC is gearing up to build the world's first 3-nanometer chip production plant in Tainan Science Park in southern Taiwan, marking at least one upcoming TSMC plant that will remain in Taiwan and not be built in the United States (via EE Times). The 3nm production sees TSMC preparing for the release of products far down the line; currently the supplier uses a 10nm FinFET process, with 7nm planned for 2018 and 5nm and 3nm gearing up "as early as 2022."

    Article Link: TSMC Founder Morris Chang to Retire in June 2018 as Apple's Chip Partner Plans World's First 3nm Fab
     
  2. JaySoul macrumors 68030

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  3. Kabeyun, Oct 2, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2017

    Kabeyun macrumors 68000

    Kabeyun

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    Holy mackerel! 3nm. Just for scale, that’s only about 10x the diameter of a copper atom, folks.
     
  4. adamjackson macrumors 68000

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    I hope I'm not still working at 86. Good for this guy..now go enjoy retirement.
     
  5. 69Mustang macrumors 603

    69Mustang

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    Completely off topic. Apologies to all. Retirement isn't for everyone. For some retirement is akin to a slow death. They can't not work.
     
  6. kingpushup macrumors regular

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    Picometer-sized chips coming before “pico”-projectors make it big, maybe. Who’s betting? :p
     
  7. jonnysods macrumors 603

    jonnysods

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    Retiring at 86... That's a passionate guy right there.
     
  8. RogerWilco macrumors 6502a

    RogerWilco

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    Indeed, just think of the lithography tech needed to achieve those dimensions. X-ray optics?
     
  9. vtrautia macrumors newbie

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    Its 20 copper atoms but still incredibly tiny. 27 Silicon atoms in a row
     
  10. cableguy84 macrumors 65816

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  11. Nozuka macrumors 68020

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    3nm... it's crazy how fast they are advancing..
     
  12. earthTOmitchel Contributing Editor

    earthTOmitchel

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    #12
    One can dream
     
  13. Kabeyun, Oct 2, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2017

    Kabeyun macrumors 68000

    Kabeyun

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    #13
    A copper atom is about 2.4e-10m, or 0.24nm. So 3nm (3.0e-9m) is order of magnitude 10x that. What I found, anyway.
     
  14. NomadicTy macrumors regular

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    Some just cannot sit around and do nothing. Also, being an employer, perspectives change as one realizes that his actions and decisions do not only affect his own family, but his employees and their families as well. And with him having tens of thousands of employees, I cannot even imagine the responsibility he must have felt.

    People always think of executives and business owners as "evil rich people". But they also forget that those people are also humans. Not every executive/business owner is evil and greedy. Just like not every employee is honest nor hard-working.
     
  15. Dave-Z macrumors 6502a

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    I didn't even think less than 5 nm was possible. The lattice for silicon is about 0.5 nm from what I've read. So this is pretty close to the limit, size-wise.
     
  16. Kabeyun macrumors 68000

    Kabeyun

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    Yep. Moore’s law is dead. There’s an excellent ArsTechnica article about its illness and death that really is worth the several minutes the read will take. Excellent summary. Technical enough to be thorough, but well written enough to get. Note that it was written a year and a half ago, and the Cannonlake processor it says was pushed back from 2016 to 2017 has now been pushed back to 2018.
     
  17. Return Zero macrumors 6502a

    Return Zero

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    #17
    3nm. That's just incredible. Next thing you know, we'll be hearing about picometer-scale manufacturing. The age of nanotechnology really didn't live up to the hype! :D
     
  18. mytdave macrumors 6502a

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    While it's possible to make smaller traces (3nm), I thought the atomic physical limit for silicon semiconductors was 7nm due to leakage (circuits become so small that the electrons can too easily jump to an adjacent circuit). Am I wrong? Has there been some development that overcomes this problem?
     
  19. Pilgrim1099 Suspended

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    #19
    Lay off the acquistion crack pot dreams.

    Acquisition = LAZINESS.

    Apple: "oh well, we so lazy that we can't do this tech from scratch. Let's buy that and get it over with and pretend it's ours without crediting TSMC".
     
  20. justperry macrumors G3

    justperry

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    Thanks to ASML, without them there probably wouldn't be such small ic's now, might be years from now.

    Shouldn't that be 0.24nm
     
  21. Asianpork macrumors member

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    #21
    Yes, that's what I was wondering. Below 7nm doesn't Quantum tunneling and metal whiskers become an issue?
     
  22. Kabeyun, Oct 2, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2017

    Kabeyun macrumors 68000

    Kabeyun

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    #22
    You’re absolutely right. Typo corrected thx.
    --- Post Merged, Oct 2, 2017 ---
    Not saying they should buy TSMC, but I gotta say that it sounds pretty absurd to expect Apple to build a foundry if they want to get into the chip making business. When they bought part of Toshiba’s NAND business, did you want them instead to suddenly start fabricating RAM?

    Were you just as upset when Qualcomm bought NXP? Or how about when SoftBank bought ARM? Or when Analog bought Linear? Or when Microsoft bought LinkedIn? Or when Oracle bought NetSuite? Or when Google bought YouTube? Or when Quintiles bought IMS Health? Or when Samsung bought Harman? I (with TechCrunch’s help) could go on and on...

    Tech buys tech all the time to complement or reinforce their business models, and it ain’t about lazy. I suggest getting used to it.
     

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