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AMD, Apple, and Nvidia lap up TSMC capacity vacated by Huawei

by Mark Tyson on 14 April 2020, 12:31

Tags: TSMC, Huawei, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), AMD (NYSE:AMD), NVIDIA (NASDAQ:NVDA)

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According to reports published by Taiwanese industry journals and media outlets TSMC has recently had to deal with reduced orders from China's Huawei HiSilicon. It appears that Huawei, the world's second largest smartphone vendor (sitting between Samsung and Apple), is reducing its N7 and N5 orders at TSMC due to a downturn in smartphone sales.

As a big player in smartphones facing USA blacklisting and a Google app blockade, Huawei's move might have freed up lots of production capacity at TSMC and cause problems for the contract chip maker. However, this hasn't proved to be the case with tech titans like AMD, Apple, and Nvidia queuing up to fill TSMC's order books.

With reference to TSMC's N5 process, ChainNews, via RetiredEngineer, reports that Apple quickly stepped in to take up the slack provided by Huawei's cut-backs. It adds that Apple has, additionally, asked TSMC to add nearly 10,000 wafers per month (wpm) in Q4, for it next gen iDevices.

Interestingly, both Apple and AMD are looking to book 'N5 Enhanced' production capacity at TSMC for later in the year. This enhanced process was developed specifically for AMD, says the report.

TSMC has yet to open its full capacity for N5 but it will have reached this milestone by mid-year. It also plans to keep up with N7 orders which are fully booked at least to the end of 2020. On the topic of N7, the report states that Huawei HiSilicon also reduced its orders with TSMC using this process. This capacity has been keenly taken up by AMD again, as well as Nvidia, says the report.

SK hynix reinvests in its foundry division

Another interesting story unearthed by Retired Engineer suggests that SK hynix has reinvested in its foundry division due to anxieties over supply chains. "SK Hynix has high hopes for its fab in Wuxi, China, which is expected to be completed by the end of June," reports Semi Insights. SK hynix has also signed up to participate in the MagnaChip Cheongju Plant 'Fab 4' as a limited partner for non-memory production.



HEXUS Forums :: 17 Comments

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Interesting claim about the N5 process being developed with/for AMD - I guess it would be a case of tuning it for higher clock speeds vs some of the more mobile-oriented processes TSMC offer?
Interesting about N5 enhanced… I'd like to hope that seeing as it was specifically develloped for AMD, likely with their investment etc, that AMD gets preferential treatment over Apple and their huge stockpile of cash.
From what I remember reading, TSMC have played quite fair historically, refusing to allow large companies like Apple to bully others out of production capacity. It makes a lot of sense though, you only have to look as far as ImgTec to see what can happen if you have nearly all your eggs in one apple basket…
Well they get it back when China mach into Taiwan soon, and then AMD / fruit company / Nvidia will be screwed.
Gentle Viking;1338941
Well they get it back when China mach into Taiwan soon, and then AMD / fruit company / Nvidia will be screwed.

I assume you mean march? And what do you consider soon? Taiwan has been split from China since 1949 and yet they still have not invaded. Also Taiwan is protected by the US, it is legally obligated to defend it. It is also no slouch in terms of military equipment and forces. So no it won't be soon, if ever.