According to a recent market research report, TSMC appears to be completely undeterred by both the COVID-19 global pandemic and the loss of Huawei, a major silicon buyer thanks to US government regulations. The silicon maker isn’t just coasting this year: it’s actively ramping up production as well as investment into fabrication technology.
The report claims that TSMC’s production capacity is currently oversubscribed by 60 percent, much of which has been driven by increasing demand for 5G hardware. In a presentation, TSMC recently indicated that its sub-28nm product stack grew by a 28 percent compound annual rate, with 7nm production triple of what it was in 2018. The report indicates that TSMC is working on newer process innovations, with 3nm silicon expected to be available by 2022.
Between the rise of 5G hardware and the demand for new console SoCs and AMD GPUs/CPUs on their 7nm process, TSMC’s fortunes are looking up, regardless of how the rest of the world’s handling things. By the end of the year, TSMC will be fabbing 140,000 units of 7nm wafers per month.
TSMC’s 5nm process appears to be making excellent progress, too, which bodes well for upcoming smartphones as well as upcoming GPUs and CPUs (especially for AMD). Specifically, yields appear to have improved significantly on the 5nm process relative to 7nm at this same stage in the life cycle. This could potentially lead to cheaper 5nm chips next year.