Array
(
    [content] => 
    [params] => Array
        (
            [0] => /forum/index.php?threads/tsmc-mega-factory-north-phoenix-video-5.15643/
        )

    [addOns] => Array
        (
            [DL6/MLTP] => 13
            [Hampel/TimeZoneDebug] => 1000070
            [SV/ChangePostDate] => 2010200
            [SemiWiki/Newsletter] => 1000010
            [SemiWiki/WPMenu] => 1000010
            [SemiWiki/XPressExtend] => 1000010
            [ThemeHouse/XLink] => 1000970
            [ThemeHouse/XPress] => 1010570
            [XF] => 2021171
            [XFI] => 1050270
        )

    [wordpress] => /var/www/html
)

TSMC MEGA Factory North Phoenix Video 5

As I see it, the US is hiring TSMC to build a military-grade 5nm process line in AZ so that the US has an unquestionable lead over Russia/China in digital aerospace/military ICs for the next 20 years.

The military-grade process is much harder than the auto-grade process at the same node. TSMC never talks about it but it’s there. I never had the privilege to read a military-grade PDK. I guess this one must be the top-secret of all.
 

hist78

Well-known member
As I see it, the US is hiring TSMC to build a military-grade 5nm process line in AZ so that the US has an unquestionable lead over Russia/China in digital aerospace/military ICs for the next 20 years.

The military-grade process is much harder than the auto-grade process at the same node. TSMC never talks about it but it’s there. I never had the privilege to read a military-grade PDK. I guess this one must be the top-secret of all.
Several years ago during a TSMC Quarterly Earning Conference, TSMC Chairman Mark Liu answered a question about if US Defense Department ever asked TSMC to build a leading edge fab in US. Mark replied that DoD didn't ask TSMC but DoD did ask those TSMC customers who supply chips to DoD about why they don't manufacture chips in US. Mark stated that those TSMC customers told DoD that they have to use TSMC due to the technology and manufacturing capabilities.

So DoD didn't ask TSMC directly? It's a white lie that I believe both PRC and US know completely.
 
Last edited:

benb

Active member
Semiconductors are dual-use, meaning they have applications in war and peace. Nuclear non-proliferation is also part of this.
There are US (and treaty signatory nation) restrictions around dual-use that place burdensome, daily restrictions on mundane things like valves. If it is dual use, every shipment to Asia has to be cleared by Department of State. This is not a customs thing, it is a pre-shipment thing.
The "green light" to export has always been vague. The general rule though is you will get the green light once the part or machine or software export is 2.5 generations behind the leading edge.
So, this restricts SMIC and other China-location fabs to 14-16nm, as 5nm is (approximately) the leading edge. The node rule may not be operative anymore because it's become less technical and more marketing.
In a changed world, TSMC "under CCP" would be be heavily restricted in technology nodes. 14-16nm in 2022, 7nm in 2024, etc. A large proportion of TSMC revenue is < 16nm, more than 50% I think, so the impact would be huge.
In this changed world, TSMC "under State of AZ" would be able to continue on 3nm, 2nm, etc. TSMC "under Japan" would be the same.
I sincerely hope there is no TSMC "under CCP", but the world can change. Advanced node development wouldn't be possible in Hsinchu. Perhaps it could continue in AZ, I don't know.
 
Last edited:
P

Portland

Guest
Taiwan could hold out for a month for sure. In technology there's more depth than ukraine, poland, or Germany which is a huge advantage. Thing is with China and Russia is both are willing to lose 10,000 people reinvent themselves and try again.
 

IanD

Active member
As I see it, the US is hiring TSMC to build a military-grade 5nm process line in AZ so that the US has an unquestionable lead over Russia/China in digital aerospace/military ICs for the next 20 years.

The military-grade process is much harder than the auto-grade process at the same node. TSMC never talks about it but it’s there. I never had the privilege to read a military-grade PDK. I guess this one must be the top-secret of all.
I doubt that the PDK (fundamental process and layout) is any different for a "mil-spec" process, but it could be qualified for higher reliability and bigger temperature ranges meaning different electrical models e.g. EMC rules.
 

Daniel Nenni

Admin
Staff member
As I see it, the US is hiring TSMC to build a military-grade 5nm process line in AZ so that the US has an unquestionable lead over Russia/China in digital aerospace/military ICs for the next 20 years.

The military-grade process is much harder than the auto-grade process at the same node. TSMC never talks about it but it’s there. I never had the privilege to read a military-grade PDK. I guess this one must be the top-secret of all.

I think TSMC building in AZ (Intel's backyard) is a jab back at Intel. TSMC is certainly hiring Intel people putting a drain on the AZ talent pool. Intel building in OH was very strategic, very political. The war in Ukraine is certainly helping Pat Gelsinger's agenda of reshoring semiconductors. I keep saying that I have not experienced a more exciting time in semiconductors but it keeps getting more exciting!
 

chipsntexas

Member
Several years ago during a TSMC Quarterly Earning Conference, TSMC Chairman Mark Liu answered a question about if US Defense Department ever asked TSMC to build a leading edge fab in US. Mark replied that DoD didn't ask TSMC but DoD did ask those TSMC customers who supply chips to DoD about why they don't manufacture chips in US. Mark stated that those TSMC customers told DoD that they have to use TSMC due to the technology and manufacturing capabilities.

So DoD didn't ask TSMC directly? It's a white lie that I believe both PRC and US know completely.
This is an interesting statement, but not terribly accurate really. I think that DoD has been quite open and clear about having domestic access to leading edge technology. TSMC is obviously part of this, and supplier to many current DoD suppliers - this is not a secret to anyone. Intel is also aiming to be a maker of these parts, hence IFS and their building fabs in both AZ (now) and OH (later?).
There is simply strategic planning going on at multiple levels within the industry and both its supplier and customer base to have (or move) much of this to domestic US sources. Fairly straightforward plan, although it will be much more difficult to execute. And very doubtful that anything close to 100% supply chain viability within the US is possible. Certainly not this year, or even this decade.
 

Daniel Nenni

Admin
Staff member
COVID and now the war in Ukraine is teaching us all how complicated the semiconductor ecosystem really is. There is no possible way to re-shore the whole thing. We will always be dependent on one country or another so we had better be more geopolitical thinking in a strategic semiconductor way, absolutely.
 

hist78

Well-known member
This is an interesting statement, but not terribly accurate really. I think that DoD has been quite open and clear about having domestic access to leading edge technology. TSMC is obviously part of this, and supplier to many current DoD suppliers - this is not a secret to anyone. Intel is also aiming to be a maker of these parts, hence IFS and their building fabs in both AZ (now) and OH (later?).
There is simply strategic planning going on at multiple levels within the industry and both its supplier and customer base to have (or move) much of this to domestic US sources. Fairly straightforward plan, although it will be much more difficult to execute. And very doubtful that anything close to 100% supply chain viability within the US is possible. Certainly not this year, or even this decade.
It's a relatively small quantity in terms of volume needed for those national security related semiconductor orders. For example there are only 45,000 units manufactured for the famous FGM-148 Javelin anti tank missile since 1996. From the DoD, DOE, and NSA's point of view, this is easy to achieve 100% domestic sourcing target.
 
Last edited:

hskuo

Active member
I doubt that the PDK (fundamental process and layout) is any different for a "mil-spec" process, but it could be qualified for higher reliability and bigger temperature ranges meaning different electrical models e.g. EMC rules.
As far as I remembered, the difference would be more restrictions in process. It includes also no rework, no wafer scrapped in the same lots and others.
 
Top