Image: TSMC

Apple is traditionally TSMC’s biggest customer, but it appears that Intel has made a superior offer that will allow the company to be the first to leverage one of the world’s largest semiconductor foundry’s most cutting-edge processes.

According to a report from Chinese publication UDN, Intel has won pretty much all of TSMC’s initial 3-nanometer production for its next-generation products, which reportedly include three server processors and a GPU. These will be churned out via TSMC’s 18b fabrication site, with mass production supposedly beginning as early as mid-2022.

Intel recently shared a new roadmap that confirmed a variety of its upcoming nodes, all bearing a different naming convention. One of these is Intel 4, an innovation that “fully embraces EUV lithography to print incredibly small features using ultra-short wavelength light.” Intel noted that these products would be ready for production in the second half of 2022.

TSMC isn’t keen on commenting on its customers’ orders, but chairman Liu Deyin recently suggested to shareholders that Intel was eager to adopt the company’s most innovative technologies.

Image: Intel

The first batch is about 4,000 pieces. The product design should be completed in TSMC’s Bamboo Branch 12 factory recently. The finalized products have begun to be moved to Nanke 18b for mass production; these four products will be officially produced and delivered in May next year, and will be mass-produced in July next year.

Source: UDN

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19 Comments

  1. Oh man.

    I’m not sorry Apple got outbid – more power to Intel for doing it. Maybe Intel did it as a FU to Apple as much as anything else, I don’t know.

    But the fact that Intel felt the need to buy up that much capacity… doesn’t speak well to their confidence in their own fab road map.

    If I were an investor I’d see this as a big warning flag.

    TSMC, however:

    [IMG]https://www.relevantmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/scrooge-mcduck-swimming-in-money.jpg[/IMG]

  2. If things are going as I read a while back, I wouldn’t be surprised if TSMC has a buch of setbacks soon enough. Last I checked they were bleeding out talent to mainland China. TSMC salaries seemed low to me. Mainland China salaries read quite high for tech positions and software position… I do consider everything I read unreliable though.

  3. [QUOTE=”Uvilla, post: 39501, member: 397″]
    If things are going as I read a while back, I wouldn’t be surprised if TSMC has a buch of setbacks soon enough. Last I checked they were bleeding out talent to mainland China. TSMC salaries seemed low to me. Mainland China salaries read quite high for tech positions and software position… I do consider everything I read unreliable though.
    [/QUOTE]
    Hmm…

    I’m an outsider looking in, very much admittedly, but I don’t know if there would be enough money in the world to get me to cross the Taiwan Strait.

  4. AMD be like……..”f me. Hey GloFo….you want to get back in the game? Samsung? Someone?”

  5. [QUOTE=”Brian_B, post: 39502, member: 96″]
    Hmm…

    I’m an outsider looking in, very much admittedly, but I don’t know if there would be enough money in the world to get me to cross the Taiwan Strait.
    [/QUOTE]
    Oh reportedly there is. I can’t claim to know anything about Chinese living in china, I do consider a flat fact what we get here is a toxic brew of lies half truths and propaganda. Rarely will I read a more balanced article about anything china related, when I do it sticks with me somewhat. I can’t get the article, but what I read seemed more balanced, so It stuck some (about tsmc losing some people and such)

  6. Seems like all those “intel is done for” “it will take them years/decades to catch up” statements are vastly exaggerated.

    Now to see what us DYI’ers etc.. are going to get, hopefully something half decent too.

  7. [QUOTE=”Denpepe, post: 39528, member: 284″]
    Seems like all those “intel is done for” “it will take them years/decades to catch up” statements are vastly exaggerated.

    Now to see what us DYI’ers etc.. are going to get, hopefully something half decent too.
    [/QUOTE]
    Well…. Going lessfabs ain’t exactly catching up. My brain tells me hoping the line to 3nm ain’t exactly without perils . Conclusion is yes the ain’t catching up… As far as done for remains to be seen. And I think when people say done for they mean more done for as in they became IBM, which, it is still the undergoing process. I don’t think anyone thinks done for as in broke and gone.. Usually military contracts and the like magically grow for big declining companies like Intel.

  8. [QUOTE=”Uvilla, post: 39529, member: 397″]
    Well…. Going lessfabs ain’t exactly catching up. My brain tells me hoping the line to 3nm ain’t exactly without perils . Conclusion is yes the ain’t catching up… As far as done for remains to be seen. And I think when people say done for they mean more done for as in they became IBM, which, it is still the undergoing process. I don’t think anyone thinks done for as in broke and gone.. Usually military contracts and the like magically grow for big declining companies like Intel.
    [/QUOTE]

    I highly doubt they are going fabless, they are going to use TSMC for their server products to stay competitive with AMD while they work on their own nodes for desktop/mobile CPU’s and GPU’s wwhere the margins are smaller.

  9. [URL=’https://www.barrons.com/articles/intel-new-ceo-wait-to-buy-stock-51627685968′]This might shed some more light.[/URL] Next earnings report should give more concrete info.

  10. [QUOTE=”Denpepe, post: 39535, member: 284″]
    I highly doubt they are going fabless, they are going to use TSMC for their server products to stay competitive with AMD while they work on their own nodes for desktop/mobile CPU’s and GPU’s wwhere the margins are smaller.
    [/QUOTE]

    I know Intel loves their server markets… and they should rightly fear people moving off of intel and on to EPYC platforms. They STILL haven’t competed on core count… and where licensing isn’t a fortune core count wins the day.

    Even today when looking for ESXi hosts (Vmware) I have ZERO options for a 32 core CPU from intel for a dual socket build. If my company would let me test it I want to play with some hosts using dual 32 core modern EPYC CPU’s to see how they run when stressed for a long period of time.

    Where I work things are 24/7 non stop for our environments. We intentionally over build them mind you. But still it’s a 24/7/365, and we deliver five 9’s. And that metric is the one thing keeping us from going with the ‘newer’ EPYC CPU’s as there is a question mark about their stability over a 5 year period. Simply because they don’t have the density in the market yet. Once that pendulum starts to swing with any actual velocity Intel should panic.

    Problem is Intel is a market MONSTER right now with locked in accounts with vendors. Dell has gotten better about exposing the EPIC CPU’s to vendors… once we get some new Dell World events going with AMD having a solid presence and showing their hardware at parity or better with Intel… things will swing their way a bit more. Unless of course Intel can drop the hammer down and prevent them from having successive successful iterations of product that continue to out perform their core market.

  11. Reading through a few other sources it sounds more like Intel snatched up ~remaining~ capacity. They didn’t outbid Apple or take anything that was already allocated to Apple, who locked in their contract at 3nm almost a year ago.

    It would lock Apple out from expanding until TSMC gets more Fabs online, and it locks AMD, nVidia, and others out.

  12. [URL unfurl=”true”]https://www.hardwaretimes.com/apple-to-be-tmscs-only-3nm-client-in-2022-followed-by-amd-no-3nm-chips-for-intel-till-2023-report/[/URL]

  13. Yeah, watch out AMD.

    Once Intel is no longer at a production process deficit, things may very well start to look like 2006 – 2016 again. :/

  14. [QUOTE=”Zarathustra, post: 39698, member: 203″]
    Yeah, watch out AMD.

    Once Intel is no longer at a production process deficit, things may very well start to look like 2006 – 2016 again. :/
    [/QUOTE]
    I’m all for that. I don’t really care who has the ball so long as the chains are moving down the field.

  15. [QUOTE=”Brian_B, post: 39702, member: 96″]
    I’m all for that. I don’t really care who has the ball so long as the chains are moving down the field.
    [/QUOTE]

    I mostly agree, but I am all for there being more than one company in a competitive place. Otherwise we just wind up being price gouged for tiny incremental improvements, like we were with Intel for a decade.

    If they are able to constantly leapfrog each-other, that is the ideal situation.

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