According to the latest info from industry sources, TSMC is continuing to expand its advanced process production capacity, with all its major clients including Apple, TSMC, and Qualcomm pushing for larger shares. While Apple is expected to remain the Taiwanese foundry’s largest client for the foreseeable future, AMD will become its second-largest customer in 2022.
Following Apple and AMD, Qualcomm is third in line with a bid to expand its chip orders. The mobile chipmaker recently shifted its orders from Samsung to TSMC after the former failed to supply the promised capacity. As per reports, Qualcomm has significantly expanded the production volume of 7nm and 6nm chips, with additional capacity slated for 5nm and 4nm products in 2022.
NVIDIA has a more diverse approach to its chip supply. The GPU maker procures its supply from both Samsung and TSMC, likely in hopes of getting a better deal and maintain higher profit margins. The company has offered decent power efficiency with all its GPUs despite lagging behind AMD in process technology. Furthermore, being Samsung’s primary PC client means that it faces less competition when expanding its production volume, as we’ve seen during the semiconductor shortages.
Apple is again slated to be the first adopter of TSMC’s 4nm and later on the 3nm process in H2 2021 and H2 2022, respectively with its next generation of smartphones. The switch to custom silicon for Mac notebooks and PCs means that its share at the foundry is slated to increase (by around 20 million), further intensifying the competition for larger shares at the foundry.
Earlier it was rumored that Intel would be one of the first adopters of TSMC’s 3nm process technology, but that seems to have been a hoax. Although the chipmaker will leverage the N6 process for its Xe-HPG graphics cards, it’ll continue to rely on its internal foundries for all its consumer and server CPUs.
Despite regular expansion to production capacity, TSMC expects shortages to last for another year and warns of another lean year in the foundry business.