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TSMC and the CHIPS Act

Daniel Nenni

Admin
Staff member
In response to a Commerce Department Request for Information on CHIPS Act implementation, TSMC filed public comments this week stating: “We believe the CHIPS Program Office would be well advised to prioritize grant applicants that have a long, successful track record in advanced logic fabrication, R&D, and existing sizable headcount that offers decisive proof points that the incentives provided will lead to a successful investment result. Companies that can quantifiably demonstrate an ability to invest incentive amounts, have a catalytic impact on hiring nationwide, and revive leading edge chip manufacturing domestically, merit the most serious consideration. In maintaining global leadership for decades to come, U.S. technology companies will rely on the fastest and most dynamic chips manufactured at TSMC’s semiconductor complex in Phoenix, Arizona.”

TSMC PDF CHIPS Act Response
 

nghanayem

Active member
In response to a Commerce Department Request for Information on CHIPS Act implementation, TSMC filed public comments this week stating: “We believe the CHIPS Program Office would be well advised to prioritize grant applicants that have a long, successful track record in advanced logic fabrication, R&D, and existing sizable headcount that offers decisive proof points that the incentives provided will lead to a successful investment result. Companies that can quantifiably demonstrate an ability to invest incentive amounts, have a catalytic impact on hiring nationwide, and revive leading edge chip manufacturing domestically, merit the most serious consideration. In maintaining global leadership for decades to come, U.S. technology companies will rely on the fastest and most dynamic chips manufactured at TSMC’s semiconductor complex in Phoenix, Arizona.”

TSMC PDF CHIPS Act Response
And yet so many people are convinced that intel is getting 100% of the pie. TSMC, Globalwafers, Samsung, TI, Micron, and many others beg to differ.
 

Mooredaddy

New member
Slightly off topic but speaking of micron, are they truly the DRAM & NAND technology leaders or is that just marketing regarding their layers. I find the memory business much more difficult to parse out who’s actually making the best memory these days. I’m aware Samsung is the leader in terms of market size but wondering who has the tech edge here?
 

nghanayem

Active member
Slightly off topic but speaking of micron, are they truly the DRAM & NAND technology leaders or is that just marketing regarding their layers. I find the memory business much more difficult to parse out who’s actually making the best memory these days. I’m aware Samsung is the leader in terms of market size but wondering who has the tech edge here?
Micron is on a more advanced node than everyone else in DRAM. As well as a layer count advantage over SK, Toshibia alliance, and Samsung for nand. This allows Micron to be more cost competitive than their scale would suggest they should. In nand Samsung still maintains price competitiveness on the back of their scale and their lower layer nand being made with one etch instead of many.
 
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Fred Chen

Moderator
Micron is on a more advanced node than everyone else in DRAM. As well as a layer count advantage over SK, Toshibia alliance, and Samsung for nand. This allows Micron to be more cost competitive than their scale would suggest they should. In nand Samsung still maintains price competitiveness on the back of their scale and their lower layer nand being made with one etch instead of many.
Yes Micron has announced 1b and 232 layers first.
 

Mooredaddy

New member
Yes Micron has announced 1b and 232 layers first.
Fascinating. Samsung operates on such a massively larger scale in the memory business I believe (could be wrong) so it is surprising to me that this scale hasn’t translated to better outcomes in r&d thus a technological edge. Is Samsung semi just run inefficiently or rife with incompetence because with such a huge portion of the market it is wild to me that they haven’t crushed Micron. Micron seems to just more well run, better I.p or what? I’m aware of the issues Samsung foundry has had with management and yields as well. What is going on at Samsung?
 

benb

Active member
I'm less informed about DRAM that I once was, but Samsung has EUV DRAM in production, no one else has started. So in technology, Samsung is in the lead.

Micron, on the other hand, was very savvy in the last downturn, 2008-2010, and bought up fabs in TW and JP at low cost. So they maintain a low cost profile due to the very efficient (most efficient in the world, I believe) production overseas. Having fabs that are low cost to operate is a big advantage, at least as big as Samsung's technology advantage.

The CHIPs act may bring Samsung, Hynix and Micron fabs back to the USA, but US remains this weirdly uncompetitive place for DRAM and NAND. I'd be curious to know how Manassas and Lehi stack up, I expect JP/TW/KR have a significant cost/chip advantage. And I still don't know why the US is so uncompetitive.
 

nghanayem

Active member
I'm less informed about DRAM that I once was, but Samsung has EUV DRAM in production, no one else has started. So in technology, Samsung is in the lead.

Micron, on the other hand, was very savvy in the last downturn, 2008-2010, and bought up fabs in TW and JP at low cost. So they maintain a low cost profile due to the very efficient (most efficient in the world, I believe) production overseas. Having fabs that are low cost to operate is a big advantage, at least as big as Samsung's technology advantage.

The CHIPs act may bring Samsung, Hynix and Micron fabs back to the USA, but US remains this weirdly uncompetitive place for DRAM and NAND. I'd be curious to know how Manassas and Lehi stack up, I expect JP/TW/KR have a significant cost/chip advantage. And I still don't know why the US is so uncompetitive.
EUV has nothing to do with how advanced the companies are. Samsung's EUV nodes are effectively not in production. SK is also about to launch EUV. Micron is using quad patterning so they can get higher densities faster than their competitors because they didn't have to get EUV to be functional. For their next gen Micron wants to add EUV, because they think it will finally be mature enough to make their nodes cheaper rather than more expensive. It would seem their conservativeness has given them an advantage. The only question remains if Micron stumbles on their first EUV node like their competitors, or if 1beta comes out seamlessly.
 

Fred Chen

Moderator
EUV has nothing to do with how advanced the companies are. Samsung's EUV nodes are effectively not in production. SK is also about to launch EUV. Micron is using quad patterning so they can get higher densities faster than their competitors because they didn't have to get EUV to be functional. For their next gen Micron wants to add EUV, because they think it will finally be mature enough to make their nodes cheaper rather than more expensive. It would seem their conservativeness has given them an advantage. The only question remains if Micron stumbles on their first EUV node like their competitors, or if 1beta comes out seamlessly.
EUV is not a must-have for DRAM cell patterning since it is a fixed pitch pattern amenable to self-aligned patterning. There are also not many metal layers. So it's not as dramatic a severe multipatterning case as with foundry.
 

Fred Chen

Moderator
I'm less informed about DRAM that I once was, but Samsung has EUV DRAM in production, no one else has started. So in technology, Samsung is in the lead.

Micron, on the other hand, was very savvy in the last downturn, 2008-2010, and bought up fabs in TW and JP at low cost. So they maintain a low cost profile due to the very efficient (most efficient in the world, I believe) production overseas. Having fabs that are low cost to operate is a big advantage, at least as big as Samsung's technology advantage.

The CHIPs act may bring Samsung, Hynix and Micron fabs back to the USA, but US remains this weirdly uncompetitive place for DRAM and NAND. I'd be curious to know how Manassas and Lehi stack up, I expect JP/TW/KR have a significant cost/chip advantage. And I still don't know why the US is so uncompetitive.
Labor cost is location-sensitive.
 

Mooredaddy

New member
EUV is not a must-have for DRAM cell patterning since it is a fixed pitch pattern amenable to self-aligned patterning. There are also not many metal layers. So it's not as dramatic a severe multipatterning case as with foundry.
The more knowledge you guys drop on me the more I realize I don’t understand much 😂. I find this all so fascinating. In many ways I find the manufacture of memory far more confusing then logic.
 
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