Courtesy of the semiconductor shortages, foundry prices have been on the rise. Both TSMC and Samsung are planning to increase their advanced manufacturing costs by up to 20%. Many outlets (including us) thought that this was push up consumer electronic prices in the coming months, but it looks like that won’t be the case. According to reports from Asian outlets, mature processes (such as 7nm, 10nm, 14nm) are getting much more expensive (=20%). Advanced nodes, on the other hand, (5nm) are being let off with a relatively minor hike (=10%), likely because they’re already insanely expensive.
However, the price increase won’t be uniform across the board. Long-term clients such as Apple and AMD will be getting preferential treatment. This makes sense as the 5nm node used by Apple is crazy expensive, while AMD’s 7nm capacity is next to none. The former will pay 2% more for its chip supply while the latter will pay 5% more.
It’ll be interesting to know how much Intel is paying TSMC for fabbing its Xe-HPG graphics cards. Considering that this is the US chipmaker’s first advanced foundry in Taiwan, it certainly won’t be on the same level as AMD. At the same time, having rival Intel as a customer is a big boon for TSMC, both stock-wise and in terms of impetus.
Apple is TSMC’s largest client accounting for roughly 25% of all chips produced by the foundry, followed by AMD. Qualcomm and MediaTek will battle it out for the third and fourth positions this year.