Weekly news roundup: pre-orders for Copilot+ PC collaborated by Microsoft, Qualcomm exceed expectations

Peng Chen, DIGITIMES Asia, Taipei 0


These are the most-read DIGITIMES Asia stories in the week of June 17 – June 21.

Microsoft and Qualcomm unveil AI-powered Copilot+ PC: pre-orders surpass expectations

The Copilot+ PC, co-developed by Microsoft and Qualcomm, has entered the pre-order phase, marking the first major outcome since Microsoft collaborated with Qualcomm on the project. Qualcomm representatives showed confidence in pre-order levels at Computex 2024. Chip industry sources said Microsoft was satisfied with the pre-order performance because it surpassed initial expectations. Qualcomm and other IC suppliers hope this trend will persist through at least the second half of 2024, establishing a robust groundwork for the future of AI PCs.

Broadcom foresees AI revenue surpassing US$10 billion, no plans to rival Nvidia GPUs

Broadcom saw its AI-related revenue surge 280% to US$3.1 billion in the second quarter of fiscal year 2024. The company said the demand for AI networking products and customized accelerators from hyperscale customers is strong and will likely drive its AI revenue to over US$11 billion for the whole fiscal year 2024. As the second-largest beneficiary of the AI investment boom following Nvidia, Broadcom said it understood its position as a customized AI accelerator provider and had no intention of directly competing with Nvidia.

Intel pitches foundry services to Chinese clients: can they use non-US fabs?

Intel pitching its customized process chip manufacturing services in an interview with Chinese media made the industry wonder whether Intel Foundry tried to attract Chinese clients to make 3nm chips for them. The problem is whether Intel, which receives CHIPS Act subsidies from the US government, can provide such service to Chinese clients. According to a TechInsights report, Samsung Foundry, which also accepts US subsidies, produced 3nm chips for China-based MicroBT with gate-all-around (GAA) process technology from 2022 to 2023.

Chinese OSATs gear up for advanced packaging

Industry sources said China-based OSATs such as Jiangsu Changjiang Electronics Technology (JCET) and Tongfu Microelectronics (TFME) have accelerated their deployments for advanced packaging in response to the AI chip boom. These OSATs are eyeing orders from customers looking for alternatives to TSMC's CoWoS advanced packaging capacity. According to the sources, automotive chips and the AI boom that has been driving 2.5D and 3D packaging have boosted the growth of the semiconductor packaging sector.

TSMC kicks off 3nm chip production for Intel, say sources

Industry sources said TSMC had received 3nm chip orders for Intel's forthcoming notebook processor series, the Lunar Lake and Arrow Lake, and started wafer production. Intel plans to launch the Lunar Lake toward the end of the third quarter and the Arrow Lake in the fourth quarter of 2024. According to sources, the main attraction of Intel's upcoming notebook chips lies in the company's inaugural orders to TSMC for compute tiles.

Fab toolmakers see strong demand for HBM, CoWoS-like from China

According to semiconductor industry insiders, IC equipment and materials suppliers have experienced rising demand from China's semiconductor sector as companies are stepping up to adopt HBM memory and CoWoS-like technology. Due to the rising trade tensions with the US, Chinese chipmakers are discreetly purchasing equipment and materials from suppliers, ensuring that they do not violate the export restrictions imposed by America.

Samsung Foundry raises HPC-related sales target by 2028

At the Samsung Foundry Forum 2024, Samsung Electronics disclosed that it aims to increase the contribution of High-Performance Computing (HPC)-related revenues to 40% of its total revenue by 2028, over two times what it achieves currently. According to Seoul Economy, Samsung also targets HPC and mobile device ratio to its foundry business at 45% and 30%, respectively, by 2028. The targets increased significantly from what the company set up in 2023: HPC 32% and Mobile devices 33%.