Earlier this week, Samsung announced that it has commenced the mass production of 7nm LPP. The company also introduced the EUV lithography technology. These promises to be good but its chips are still in oblivion. Samsung’s 7nm chips with hit the road next year at the earliest. Apple A12 and Huawei Kirin 980 SoCs both based on TSMC 7nm have been commercialized. This places TSMC in a good position and Samsung may struggle to keep up.
TSMC CEO, Wei Zhejia, said that in the fourth quarter of this year, 7nm wafer revenue will account for more than 20% of total revenue, 10% for the whole year and 20% for 2019. TSMC’s EUV lithography-optimized next-generation process is planned to be mass-produced in 2020. He further said that there will be over 50 sets of 7nm IP solutions before this year ends. By 2019, over 100 sets will be available including the first generation 7nm and the second generation 7nm EUV.
According to industry sources, Apple, Huawei, and Qualcomm are the main customers of TSMC 7nm. Although Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 5G baseband was given to Samsung, the new Snapdragon 800 series flagship SoC and other 2019 Snapdragon SoCs will come from TSMC’s foundry. TSMC expects Q4’s revenue to be between US$93.5 and US$9.45 billion, an increase of 10-11% from the previous quarter. However, the annual revenue growth rate was reduced from 7% – 9% to 6.5%, mainly due to the sluggish mining market.