Question [Toms] TSMC hiking prices

DisEnchantment

Golden Member
Mar 3, 2017
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I doubt current price fluctuations matters for the likes of NV/AMD.
They already made the bookings for N7 and N5 a long time ago and internally they need to make allocations and projections for such capital expenses much much earlier in advance.
We buy chips in tens of thousands of rails for a product due out in few years in advance so that the supplier can reserve wafers and stockpile them by the time we industrialize something. Therefore companies sign contracts.
It is not like they went to TMSC and buy wafers on the spot.
Non news for any significant chip designer.

However, if you are some small designer using CyberShuttle and wanting to make a handful of chips it might get costly indeed
 

NTMBK

Diamond Member
Nov 14, 2011
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I doubt current price fluctuations matters for the likes of NV/AMD.
They already made the bookings for N7 and N5 a long time ago and internally they need to make allocations and projections for such capital expenses much much earlier in advance.
We buy chips in tens of thousands of rails for a product due out in few years in advance so that the supplier can reserve wafers and stockpile them by the time we industrialize something. Therefore companies sign contracts.
It is not like they went to TMSC and buy wafers on the spot.
Non news for any significant chip designer.

However, if you are some small designer using CyberShuttle and wanting to make a handful of chips it might get costly indeed
I doubt it will matter right now, but I'm sure that when they negotiate the next round of wafers they're going to have to eat a price rise.

TSMC is way ahead of the competition, demand is through the roof, and there's nowhere else that customers can really go. They're going to extract some juicy profits.
 
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moinmoin

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Jun 1, 2017
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I personally don't think this delay is making a huge difference in the competitive landscape unless it's further prolonged (which may well happen, but that would be a clear public failure in execution then). But it's good to finally have an official confirmation that N3 is indeed missing its original timeline. (Or not, witeken can hardly be taken as a proof either way.)
 
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Hitman928

Diamond Member
Apr 15, 2012
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I don't think that TSMC will still be ahead of compettion with the delay of N3 process : https://seekingalpha.com/article/4451575-tsmc-confirms-3nm-delay
404, delay not found.

Author is a huge Intel fanboy who runs off of confirmation bias and taking things out of context.

What he's calling a 'delay' is simply that it is taking TSMC 2 years + a few months to go from 5 nm to 3 nm, rather than the 2 years it took to go from 7 nm to 5 nm. TSMC 3 nm has been scheduled for 2H22 since they officially announced it and that hasn't changed.
 

Doug S

Golden Member
Feb 8, 2020
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One can argue N3 has been "delayed" as it will enter HVM a few months later than N5 did, but they've always said H2 2022 as noted. There has been no change since TSMC stated that timeframe about a year ago. It has been further nailed down (in rumors, not TSMC announcements AFAIK) to July 2022 which barely even puts it in H2.

I think that seekingalpha author had an axe to grind, or was looking for clicks with a misleading headline. "Hey look, Intel isn't the only one with process delays" kind of bull.

That said, TSMC's statements are pretty confusing where they say smartphones will play the biggest role for N3's first year. Without Apple that would be almost impossible - even if Qualcomm goes 100% TSMC instead of Samsung they their schedule has always had next gen SoCs shipping January/February. They sell a fraction of high end SoCs versus Apple's volume, so they'd have to be making mid range SoCs on N3 as well. I suppose if the iPhone is not on N3 that could open up enough volume for Qualcomm to use N3 for their midrange SoCs, but I'm skeptical.

So you can read whatever you want into TSMC's statements, and make a case for almost any outcome. I expect more back and forth on the rumors until (and maybe even after, since it isn't like iFixit's teardown will be able to tell...someone will need to get out the electron microscope) the iPhone 14 launches.

Obviously TSMC could clear it up if they wanted, but they've worked with Apple long enough to know their love for secrecy by default. So he's mastered the art of answering a question without providing an answer. He'd make a great politician!
 

John Carmack

Member
Sep 10, 2016
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I think that seekingalpha author had an axe to grind, or was looking for clicks with a misleading headline. "Hey look, Intel isn't the only one with process delays" kind of bull.
The answer was given in the above post but the author posts on Twitter and here under the "witeken" handle and acts like a fluffer for Intel.

I still remember all of his annual Intel year in review threads which always read like corporate newsletters straight from the office of the Intel CEO.
 

A///

Golden Member
Feb 24, 2017
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I don't think that TSMC will still be ahead of compettion with the delay of N3 process : https://seekingalpha.com/article/4451575-tsmc-confirms-3nm-delay
Oh? 👀 Ohhhhh.........
404, delay not found.

Author is a huge Intel fanboy who runs off of confirmation bias and taking things out of context.

What he's calling a 'delay' is simply that it is taking TSMC 2 years + a few months to go from 5 nm to 3 nm, rather than the 2 years it took to go from 7 nm to 5 nm. TSMC 3 nm has been scheduled for 2H22 since they officially announced it and that hasn't changed.
The answer was given in the above post but the author posts on Twitter and here under the "witeken" handle and acts like a fluffer for Intel.

I still remember all of his annual Intel year in review threads which always read like corporate newsletters straight from the office of the Intel CEO.
On the contrary, the author was probably genuinely concerned since Intel is supposed to be the main customer for TSMC N3.

Imagine this, yet another delay for Intel products after the 10nm nightmare. Will they ever catch a break?! /s
Before I even clicked on that SA article I knew who the author was. My suspicion was confirmed. He's the sane version of a certain French engineer who used to work at Intel, and I use some of those words lightly. N3 is not going to Intel. Even if the rumors are true, they'd be getting in late 2023. Why would TSMC give wide berth to Intel, their main competitor when Apple effectively bankrolls TSMC? With Apple increasing their reliance on TSMC to powder their slowly expanding portfolio, they need whatever they can get. Intel keeps boasting about their realigned processes yet needs to rely on a third party to get their hardware out? Either the head of the totem pole at Intel is talking out of his behind and is as useless as the last three guys or this was likely a BS headline posted first by eastern press outside of Taiwan which was dubious from the start.
 
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JasonLD

Senior member
Aug 22, 2017
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N3 is not going to Intel. Even if the rumors are true, they'd be getting in late 2023. Why would TSMC give wide berth to Intel, their main competitor when Apple effectively bankrolls TSMC? With Apple increasing their reliance on TSMC to powder their slowly expanding portfolio, they need whatever they can get.
I think the original source said that the Intel is first on N3 due to the timing that it would be too late for Apple's iPhone in 2022 and Intel took advantage of it.
 

A///

Golden Member
Feb 24, 2017
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I think the original source said that the Intel is first on N3 due to the timing that it would be too late for Apple's iPhone in 2022 and Intel took advantage of it.
That source happened to be unheard of at the time, yet every other gossip rag clamped down hard onto it. There's be no point in Intel using it when they won't have anything out by then to utilize that node in the first place. Very much a cart before the horse issue.
 

Doug S

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Feb 8, 2020
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I think the original source said that the Intel is first on N3 due to the timing that it would be too late for Apple's iPhone in 2022 and Intel took advantage of it.
That's the only way that Intel gets N3 capacity ahead of Apple. If N3 is in time for Apple, they are getting all they want and Intel etc. gets whatever is left. Apple pays for capacity YEARS in advance. Heck Apple engineers work with TSMC's engineerings figuring out the processes, so that Apple knows the characteristics as far in advance as possible. TSMC isn't going to let someone else muscle Apple out of pole position no matter how much cash is waved in their face, they have a cooperative relationship unlike with their other customers.
 

DrMrLordX

Lifer
Apr 27, 2000
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Intel is only getting maybe 10% of TSMC's first allocation of N3, if I recall correctly. Very few wafers.
 

DrMrLordX

Lifer
Apr 27, 2000
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Under the risk production phase?
Nah I don't think Intel is getting theirs during risk production.


"[N3] risk production is scheduled in 2021," said TSMC's CEO. "The volume production is targeted in second half of 2022. Our N3 technology will be the most advanced foundry technology in both PPA and transistor technology, when it is introduced. […] We are confident that both our [N5] and [N3] will be large and long-lasting nodes for TSMC."
Pretty sure Intel's allocation is in late 2022. And I don't think techradar is right, either, but I could be wrong.
 
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A///

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Feb 24, 2017
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Keeping with the theme of this thead, to scare AMD into paying more.
Without access to TSMC's contract with AMD, it'd be odd if TSMC retroactively increased prices if they were locked in with one of their major partners. And realistically, TSMC would prefer to see Intel suffer more. Most of these TSMC deals you read about were signed a long time ago. I wouldn't be surprised if Apple, for example, signed up for 5nm and maybe 4nm 3-5 years ago.
 
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NTMBK

Diamond Member
Nov 14, 2011
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I'm sure that Intel are paying a very high price for access to TSMC 3nm. Every dollar that they pay is a dollar that TSMC can invest in their own R&D and capex, and a dollar less to invest in Intel fabs.

It makes a lot of sense for TSMC to get Intel hooked.
 

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