TSMC reduces its production capacity support for Huawei


Taiwanese chip maker, TSMC has been a close associate of Huawei. Over the past two 7nm generation chips, Huawei was the first to use these manufacturing processes. As Huawei surpasses Apple to become the world’s second-largest smartphone manufacturer, it also needs the support of foundry partners. However, the latest news claims that TSMC has reduced its capacity support for Huawei. Nevertheless, the two parties still maintain close cooperation on future advanced processes such as 5nm and 3nm.


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Some analysts speculate that TSMC’s move is to accommodate other large customers, such as Apple, which is preparing the A13 chip “iPhone 9” / 5nm A14 processor. There have also been reports that the US is considering the revision of the “Foreign Direct Product Rules” to include some TSMC products that use US technology. The US is planning to regulate the supply of chips to Huawei. Especially when the chip uses US technology in part.

For Huawei, if TSMC reduces its production capacity, it does not have much impact. This is because Huawei has multiple options including Samsung’s 7nm and 5nm processes. There are reports that the third-generation 5G baseband series X60 released by Qualcomm last night chose Samsung’s 5nm foundry. This seems to suggest that the manufacturing process is reliable.

If the US continues this way, manufacturers will soon start avoiding US technology. It’s quite disheartening that the US wants to control who chip makers sell to because the chip uses a small percentage of US technology.

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  1. John Heithaus
    February 19, 2020

    Fabs could not use US technology, but the next step is baring fabs which export to Huawei from US customers. The last stab is baring fabs from using the US financial system. This is a war tier one fabs (which are all located in US allies) cannot win. If the US goes to the mat to stop Huawei, Huawei will have to use almost entirely Chinese domestic components. That is simply the truth.

  2. Vidya Sagar Rao
    February 20, 2020

    and it may just do that

  3. John Heithaus
    February 20, 2020

    I suspect Huawei is planning to use just domestically sourced components from some point moving forward. I would not be surprised if their devices were 100% China originated by 2022-25.

  4. Krum
    February 20, 2020

    US puts itself in the classical dilemma -short term gains or long term disasters.

  5. George Dang
    February 20, 2020

    China is the largest smartphone market as well as the largest manufacturer. The factories, including foreign owned, and their customers are physically in China. How can this possibly work when both supply and demand are in China? Supporting infrastructure, like financing and company headquarters, will just move, especially if China starts sanctioning. It’s important to note that China, as a country, haven’t retailated yet. RISC foundation and a few other alternative architecture researchers, in anticipation to Chinese retailation, already moved shop out of us. We can hurt them, but the Chinese can kill them. If it comes down to it, they will choose China over us, every time, in order to survive. This is a no win situation.