We are yet to fully see chips based on the new 7nm process but the R&D for 5nm chips has since commenced. With TSMC as the major foundry for the 7nm chips, the company has achieved its the first advantage. TSMC’s revenue in September was NT$94.922 billion (over $3 billion), up by 4.2% from the previous month and up 7.2% year-on-year. This is its second highest level in a single month in recent years. This feat was mainly due to the 7nm order of the Apple A12 processor and Huawei’s Kirin 980 chips.
In August, TSMC fab suffered a virus attack, causing several fabs to stop working for more than a day, which will had a negative impact on its Q3 2018 revenue. However, the general impact of this accident is trivial and will not cause significant fluctuations in the performance of TSMC. With the surge in revenue in September, TSMC’s Q3 quarter total revenue reached NT$260.347 billion (over $8 billion), up by 11.6% from Q2 and up by 3.2% from Q3 in 2017. From January to September, the accumulated revenue also reached NT$741.7 billion (over $23 billion), a year-on-year increase of 6%.
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TSMC pointed out that the surge in revenue in September was mainly due to the depreciation of the Taiwan dollar and the high demand for orders from 7nm chips. Although it did not mention the specific customer name, the main 7nm order in September was obviously the Apple A12 processor, which is handled by Apple in Q3 quarter every year. Besides Apple, Huawei’s Kirin 980 processor is also produced by TSMC’s 7nm process. The first mobile phone to sport the Kirin 980 is the Huawei Mate 20 series which is expected on October 16. At the end of this year and early next year, TSMC will also mass produce 7nm HPC high-performance technology, mainly producing AMD’s CPU, GPU, NVIDIA GPU, Xilinx FPGA, etc. This will also drive up the revenue of this company to higher heights.