Taiwan’s leading tech magazine has just published a story that will no doubt delight AMD investors. TSMC expects AMD 7nm orders to more than double in 2H 2020 as Apple transitions from 7nm to 5nm, leaving a void that AMD will fill. TSMC expects AMD to be the largest customer for 7nm processors beginning in 2H 2020, which means AMD’s sales will skyrocket beginning in 2H 2020.
TSMC’s 7nm capacity is fully booked until the second half of 2020, with AMD set to become the largest customer for 7nm.
This is roughly the same time frame in which Intel will release its first 10nm chips. Unfortunately, it appears that TSMC’s 7nm capacity is currently fully booked, and we may not see AMD increase its supply of 7nm parts before Apple moves on. Before I continue, here is a translation of the relevant sections by @chiakokhua, which I have reproduced with permission:
SMC’s 7nm production capacity is fully booked. Relief may only come when Apple migrates to 5nm in 2H’2020. TSMC’s 7nm capacity will increase to 140,000 wpm in 2H’2020. By order proportion, the ranking of customers using 7nm will be re-shuffled. AMD’s orders are set to double, replacing Apple as the largest customer [for 7nm]. Huawei’s HiSilicon and Qualcomm’s are similar by order proportion.
TSMC’s 7nm production capacity continues to rise. The industry expects monthly capacity to reach 110,000 wafers in 1H’2020. The top 5 customers by order proportion are: Apple, HiSilicon, Qualcomm, AMD, and Mediatek. Except for Mediatek, order share is split at roughly 20% each, depending on seasonality. Mediatek’s share is around 13%.
However, with 7nm capacity rising to 140,000 wpm in 2H’2020, and the largest customer Apple migrating to 5nm with the A14 processor, customer ranking by 7nm orders will be re-shuffled. In one fell swoop, AMD booked capacity for 30,000 wafers, accounting for 21% of total capacity. HiSilicon and Qualcomm’s orders are similar, at 17-18%. Mediatek’s share also rose to 14%.
At present, Samsung’s 7nm production capacity is roughly 150,000 wpm. It is also actively increasing 7nm capacity. According to industry rumors, Samsung plans to quadruple capacity in 2020. Nvidia and Qualcomm’s next-generation products may be produced using Samsung’s 7nm EUV process, but details remain to be seen.
The article contains some truly fantastic information. First and foremost, we now know that Apple intends to transition to 5nm in the second half of 2020, freeing up space for companies such as AMD. Second, TSMC is expanding its capacity, which means AMD will receive not only Apple leftovers, but also additional wafers. HiSilicon and Qualcomm are currently ahead of AMD, but the company is on track to become TSMC’s largest 7nm customer by 2H 2020, dethroning Qualcomm and HiSilicon. According to the article, AMD has placed an order for 30,000 wafers in a single “swoop,” accounting for 21% of TSMC’s total capacity.
Simultaneously, Samsung is preparing to increase 7nm production from 150,000 to 500,000. NVIDIA and Qualcomm’s next-generation products will most likely be based on Samsung’s 7nm EUV process, which will be a true example of next-generation lithography and produce some extremely fine etch. NVIDIA has been tight-lipped about its plans to transition to the 7nm process, but we expect it to happen with its Ampere architecture, which is expected to be teased/announced early next year.
While Intel has yet to release its 10nm desktop processors, it appears that 2020 will be a big year for its 7nm-based processors, with demand expected to rise as it takes market share from Intel.