According to analysts, AMD is all set to overtake Apple as TSMC’s largest customer by 2022. Over the past years, Apple has accounted for roughly 20% of TSMC’s revenue, followed by Huawei at 10%. AMD, on the other hand, was responsible for around 5-6% of TSMC’s total orders in 2019, with a figure close to 10% in 2020.
Looking at how well AMD has been doing across all its segments: game consoles, CPUs, and now GPUs as well, it won’t be surprising if it manages to overtake Apple by 2021-22, becoming TSMC’s largest client in terms of the wafers purchased.
The PC market is expected to grow to 300Mu in 2021, meaning that every percent of market share gain by AMD will translate into a 3 million unit increase at TSMC.
The second core aspect of AMD’s business is the console market. The Xbox Series S|X and Sony PS5 are expected to sell north of 50 million units in 2021. Considering that the console SoCs are much larger than an iPhone chip, this will be a major driving factor behind AMD’s wafer share at TSMC. Finally, we have the GPU market where Team Red is after several years becoming a threat to NVIDIA’s monopoly.
Being monolithic in design, the Big Navi GPUs are nearly 5 times larger than an iPhone SoC, especially if you consider the die space taken by the Infinity Cache. The same goes for the lower-end RDNA 2 GPUs. A monolithic GPU die will be larger than a mobile SoC any day. The newly announced CDNA based Instinct MI100 GPUs are even larger than Big Navi, featuring as many as 120 CUs or 7,680 cores. Therefore, the console and GPU business alone could help AMD overtake Apple in the next 2-4 years as TSMC’s largest client.
AMD’s been gaining roughly 1% of the CPU from Intel on a monthly basis if we go by the Steam Hardware Surveys. That alone means a 12% increase by 2022, resulting in a 60Mu iPhones worth of wafers from TSMC. The consoles should add around 200Mu of wafers while the GPU business is a bit of a wild card. If AMD manages to snatch around 10% share from NVIDIA in the next year, that will add another 50Mu -100Mu worth of wafers. Add all that, and you’ve got around 300-350Mu worth of iPhone wafers, a notch above Apple’s speculated orders in 2021.