Apple likely to use 5nm Processors in their Top Tier 2020 iPhones as TSMC reveals Volume Production will start in Q1 2020
Shares of contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) closed up sharply Friday to hit the highest level since early May as the company struck an optimistic tone for the third quarter in an investor conference. Friday's closing level was the highest since May 8.
Judging from TSMC's optimistic tone regarding chip demand particularly demand for smartphone- and HPC-use chips in the 5G era, the observers indicated that demand for TSMC's 7nm and 5nm process nodes will be robust starting 2020 and take the foundry to the next phase of rapid growth.
More importantly, TSMC will be more aggressive in building up 5nm process capacity. Wei also agreed with an analyst's statement that TSMC will be ramping up its 5nm process capacity rapidly in 2020, while seeing sales of 7nm chips remain significant for its revenues next year.
TSMC's CEO CC Wei said during the Q&A session of the investors conference that TSMC has become "a little bit more aggressive" with regards to its 5nm production ramp-up, adding that the foundry is on track to move the node to volume production in the first half of 2020."
The report noted that Apple and Huawei are reportedly TSMC's major 5nm chip clients. This is in tune with a January 2019 Patently Apple report titled "Apple is already Engaged with TSMC's 5nm Processor Team to Prepare for a 5nm iPhone in 2020."
Although the conference was positive for Q3, TSMC also realistically revised its global semiconductor market outlook for 2019 to a 3% decline from the flat growth estimated previously. The outlook excludes the memory part. TSMC also cut its global foundry market outlook this year to a 1% drop from flat growth.
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