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Last week Patently Apple posted a report titled "TSMC Sees AI, Augmented/Virtual Reality as Important Market Drivers for Mobile Devices over the Next Few Years." Yesterday the Nikkei caught up to that news in a long report that importantly reminded us of TSMC's time frame for this important shift to intelligent high performance computing. TSMC Co-Chief Executive Mark Liu said during the first-quarter earnings conference in mid-April that "We expect high-performance computing to become our major growth engine" starting in 2020. He went to state that in the 2020 to 2025 timeline is when the need for high-performance computing products will really pick up.


Liu also noted that half of the 30 customers that have placed pre-orders for the advanced 7-nanometer chips currently being developed intend to adopt them for high-performance computing related applications.


Later Lui was more specific noting that "Apple, Qualcomm, MediaTek and Huawei's chip unit Hisilicon Technologies are among the 30 companies that will adopt TSMC's upcoming 7-nanometer chips, while Nvidia is the most high profile customer on the high-performance computing side."


The Nikkei report also noted Liu saying that TSMC had begun to produce data center chips for the high-performance computing sector using structures provided by the SoftBank-owned semiconductor innovator ARM Holding. Data centers, which can offer high-performance computing capabilities, are an essential piece of infrastructure required to develop next-generation technologies such as AI and autonomous vehicles.


I also noted in a report posted earlier today that the timing of 2020 is when micro-LED displays for headsets are likely to take off. Between that and Apple's autonomous vehicle platform (one and two) and moves in Augmented Reality, the 2020 to 2025 time frame from TSMC provides us with a guideline as to when we may see major new technologies and products coming to market from Apple and others who are already on-board with TSMC's important delivery of 7nm processors.


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