Sony has been forced to reduce the sales forecast for its upcoming PS5 console by as much as 4 million units, thanks to a limited 7nm chip supply from TSMC. Earlier, Sony was expecting to sell around 15-16 million units of its next-gen console in 2020, around 30% more than the Xbox Series X|S. The revised estimate puts this year’s sales figures at 11 million, a 40% reduction from the original 15 million.
The reason for this is the short supply of 7nm chips from AMD and Sony’s foundry partner, TSMC. As per sources, the yields for the AMD APU powering the Sony PS5 are as low as 50%, severely limiting Sony’s capacity to sell as many consoles as it’d like. Although TSMC has been manufacturing 7nm chips since 2018, supply has remained relatively tight due to a vast clientele.
At present, TSMC’s primary 7nm clients include Apple, AMD, Qualcomm, NVIDIA, Mediatek, and others. AMD’s upcoming Zen 3 based Ryzen 4000 and Epyc Milan CPUs and the RDNA 2 GPUs will also use the same process, further straining the foundry. In fact, all of AMD’s upcoming products from the Cezanne APUs to Van Gogh and any other embedded chips will also leverage the 7nm. That in itself means a lot of orders. As Apple transitions from the 7nm to 5nm process, some capacity should free up but I suspect most of it has already been booked beforehand. After all, TSMC’s 7nm and 5nm nodes are the most advanced in the world.