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.