TSMC lands advanced chip orders shifted from China

Monica Chen, Hsinchu; Jessie Shen, DIGITIMES Asia 0

Credit: TSMC

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) has gained advanced chip orders shifted from Semiconductor Manufacturing International (SMIC) and other China-based foundries, which are encountering the US ban on semiconductor technology, according to industry sources.

In particular, TSMC has nearly monopolized the sub-7nm process business in China, and has secured orders from many Chinese AI and handset chip suppliers, the sources said.

SMIC and other China-based foundries have had to halt development of their sub-28nm process technologies due to growing US restrictions on tech and chip exports to China, giving TSMC and Samsung Electronics an advantage. TSMC, which has relatively consistent advanced process manufacturing yields, is always the top choice for leading Chinese AI and handset chip developers, the sources indicated.

Despite the US' tougher sanctions against China's IC manufacturing sector, the country continues to accelerate the design and development of ICs, particularly those for artificial intelligence, mobile phones, and automotive applications. As long as China's IC design sector does not entail military or national security concerns, the US should refrain from imposing a total blockade, as it did with the manufacturing segment, the sources noted.

Oppo's first in-house chip will be manufactured using TSMC's 4nm process technology, with a target launch year of 2024, the sources said. Xiaomi and Vivo have also made significant investments in their respective in-house built processors.

Meanwhile, along with Huawei's HiSilicon, Alibaba, Baidu and Cambricon Technologies have all increased their AI chip development efforts. The scope of China's domestic IC development will only expand rather than contract, the sources believe.