Apple will responsible for 53% of TSMC’s 5nm chip production this year says Counterpoint
Counterpoint expects Apple to account for 53% of TSMC’s 5nm production this year
Counterpoint Research expects that Apple will be TSMC’s top 5nm customer this year accounting for 53% of production thanks to the A14 and A15 Bionic chips and the M1. 5nm production will account for 5% of 12-inch wafers this year, up from less than 1% last year. Counterpoint sees Qualcomm accounting for 24% of TSMC’s 5nm chip manufacturing as Apple is expected to use Qualcomm’s 5nm Snapdragon 5G X60 modem in the iPhone 13. Both TSMC and Samsung are forecast to have 90% of their 5nm equipment booked for 2021 with the former grossing $10 billion from 5nm business this year.
AMD will be TSMC’s largest customer for 7nm chips in 2021
Unlike 5nm wafers, 80% of which are used for smartphones, 7nm chips are used more widely with only 35% of production used for smartphones. 7nm will account for 11% of 12-inch wafer use this year forecasts Counterpoint. Both TSMC and Samsung manufacture a variety of 7nm chips including those made using EUV. Extreme Ultraviolet lithography uses beams of UV light to etch out extremely thin patterns on wafers to help engineers create circuits. The use of EUV has helped foundries take their process nodes down to the current 5nm with 3nm volume production starting next year.
This year, TSMC’s top customer for 7nm will be AMD; the latter will account for 27% of such production according to Counterpoint. NVIDIA is next at 21% followed by MediaTek at10% and Intel with 7%. Yes, the latter does have its own fab, but its capabilities are behind TSMC and Samsung Foundry when it comes to process node. The research firm says that Intel’s decision to outsource is one necessary to maintain the long term survival of the chip maker.Apple will take 6% of TSMC’s 7nm output this year as it still needs 7nm chipsets for some of its older handsets.
Counterpoint notes that higher inventory of chips, now up to 79 days from 70 days since 2016, is due to the pandemic, global trade battles, and other issues. As a result, the chip industry will get acclimated to higher levels of inventory over the course of the year. Counterpoint sees annual revenue in the industry reaching $100 billion by 2022-2023.