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How Much Water Does It Take to Make a Single Chip?

A wafer's water consumption is about 120 liters/photomask (12-inch wafer), the average 7-nanometer chip has more than 60 photomask numbers
How Much Water Does It Take to Make a Single Chip

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In hot summer, it is easier to lack electricity and water.

You already know how many kilowatt-hours it takes to make a chip, and you want to know how much water it carries.

The same goes for Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., the industry leader—TSMC.

According to TSMC’s 2021 annual report:

  • (1) a wafer’s water consumption is about 120 liters/photomask (12-inch wafer), the average 7-nanometer chip has more than 60 photomask numbers, so a 7-nanometer 12-inch wafer chip manufacturing down the need to consume about 7 tons of water, a 7-nanometer chip equivalent to the consumption of 12 liters of water;
  • (2) TSMC 2021 manufactured about 14 million wafer chips (equivalent to 12-inch wafers), considering the number of photomasks of different processes is not the same, the average count of 50 photomasks, TSMC needs to consume 7x50x1400 = 4.9 billion tons of water a year
  • (3) Note that because the demand for water resources is too large, so the fabs generally find ways to reuse water resources, typically at least 3.5-4 times the reuse rate, so TSMC really down is considered to have consumed close to 20 billion tons of water resources, equivalent to the capacity of four Taihu Lake.

END.

P.S.: Taihu Lake Volume: 1.032 cubic miles

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