Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) has started production of 7nm chips for commercial use in smartphone SoCs and is already preparing for 5nm chip production in 2019. It seems that TSMC received new orders that require 7nm and 5nm process solutions next year. The orders come from AI chip developers.
TSMC expects a growing demand for 7nm and 5nm chips coming from AI chip companies because of AI's high demand for greater computing performance and its need to keep power consumption to a minimum. AI chip orders are more likely to set the highest demand rate for 7nm and 5nm chips than smartphone SoCs.
While most recent smartphone chips are still using the 12/14nm process, the demand for AI chip solutions on a 7/5nm process is likely to make a huge leap now due to upcoming applications like data centers, connected health, big data, autonomous driving and smart cities.