Global Chip Shortage Threatens Production of Laptops, Smartphones and More


TeDaDeS

Advanced Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2004
Messages
1,221
Location
The Netherlands
Website
Visit site
Pretty sure TSMC’s price hike’s been mentioned earlier in this thread but some interesting discussion of likely consequences from 41:40 - 49:30 on Jupiter Broadcasting Coder Radio
It has always been the case the TSMC has higher prices for the latest-greatest node.
Chip production actually has become more costly each time they improve and that's why today you see only a few players (TSMC, Intel, Samsung) that are going into 7nm and smaller.
While it was possible to go to 14nm with existing technologies the transition to 7nm and better means you need to change your production process a lot and these new processes are very prone to fail which reduces yields (working products).
The equipment and facilities for these fabs are way more expensive compared to older nodes. For example the equipment that exposes the pattern of the chip onto the wafer use to cost around 6 million, the latest EUV equipment is already heading to be 100 million or more.
And because the latest-greatest nodes are a bit niche (only high end equipment needs it) TSMC can charge a premium price for these chips, on top of the overhead they have of low yields and paying for the investment.

So I think if Apple, AMD and Intel (yes also Intel) wouldn't be using the latest-greatest node of TSMC they'll have to be longer on that node to get return of investment and be able to invest and switch to even newer nodes.
All the older nodes become cheaper and have higher yields, which makes it possible to get better and cheaper equipment for the rest of the consumers. Which I think is a good thing.
Sure Apple can get dominant with they own CPU and take market share but they'll probably still be more expensive compared to other products. Apple historically didn't really go with lower prices for newer products, but you never know.

The price hike could probably also related to investments TSMC had to make to improve their current production lines and hire more staff.
So in general I wasn't surprised by the price increase.

Also keep in mind that a lot of chips created for mainstream products (cars, washing-machines, microwaves and what not) don't have to be produced on the latest-greatest production process.
So the price hike by TSMC will mostly impact high end products, like gaming consoles, CPU's, videocards, iphone's/ipad's, etc.
 

Phlyra

Electric
Joined
Jul 25, 2019
Messages
1,041
It has always been the case the TSMC has higher prices for the latest-greatest node.
Chip production actually has become more costly each time they improve and that's why today you see only a few players (TSMC, Intel, Samsung) that are going into 7nm and smaller.
While it was possible to go to 14nm with existing technologies the transition to 7nm and better means you need to change your production process a lot and these new processes are very prone to fail which reduces yields (working products).
The equipment and facilities for these fabs are way more expensive compared to older nodes. For example the equipment that exposes the pattern of the chip onto the wafer use to cost around 6 million, the latest EUV equipment is already heading to be 100 million or more.
And because the latest-greatest nodes are a bit niche (only high end equipment needs it) TSMC can charge a premium price for these chips, on top of the overhead they have of low yields and paying for the investment.

So I think if Apple, AMD and Intel (yes also Intel) wouldn't be using the latest-greatest node of TSMC they'll have to be longer on that node to get return of investment and be able to invest and switch to even newer nodes.
All the older nodes become cheaper and have higher yields, which makes it possible to get better and cheaper equipment for the rest of the consumers. Which I think is a good thing.
Sure Apple can get dominant with they own CPU and take market share but they'll probably still be more expensive compared to other products. Apple historically didn't really go with lower prices for newer products, but you never know.

The price hike could probably also related to investments TSMC had to make to improve their current production lines and hire more staff.
So in general I wasn't surprised by the price increase.

Also keep in mind that a lot of chips created for mainstream products (cars, washing-machines, microwaves and what not) don't have to be produced on the latest-greatest production process.
So the price hike by TSMC will mostly impact high end products, like gaming consoles, CPU's, videocards, iphone's/ipad's, etc.
This is the sort of insightful comment that makes me really appreciate threads like this on this forum - thank you! I learn so much here
 
Top