TSMC may be number one in the semiconductor manufacturing world, but its competitors may soon benefit from its unparalleled popularity and avalanche of orders, which continue to grow from major customers such as Apple and AMD.
Business Korea is reporting that Apple will likely hire Samsung to manufacture its new ARM-based M1 chips, which will power the next generation of Mac products. While TSMC was initially tapped for these SoCs, the company can’t meet the demand on top of the heap of mobile chips that are already on its plate.
“Apple’s M1 chip order volume accounts for about 25 percent of TSMC’s 5-nm production capacity, but TSMC is already using most of its 5-nm production capacity to produce chips for Apple’s iPhone 12,” said one researcher. “Most of the order volume that TSMC cannot meet is expected to go to Samsung Electronics’ foundry division.”
Apple’s reliance on Samsung would be interesting, being that the Korean giant is one of its biggest rivals in the smartphone industry (iPhone vs. Galaxy). Allegations of poor yields have also placed Samsung in the crosshairs of some NVIDIA fans, who believe its 8-nm process might be to blame for the lack of GeForce RTX 30 Series graphics cards.