Taiwanese chipmaker, TSMC, is probably the biggest and most advanced chipmaker in the world. It has huge customers such as Apple, Qualcomm, Huawei, and others. Most recently, the company announced that it will build a 5nm factory in Arizona, USA. The fab will start construction work will start in 2021 and mass production will begin in 2024. From 2021 to 2029, TSMC’s expenditures (including capital expenditures) on this project will be approximately $12 billion.
A recent report from JPMorgan Chase shows that TSMC (TSM.US) is getting all Apple iPhone 12 processor OEM orders. This means that the processor used in Apple’s iPhone 12 will be built by TSMC’s 5-nanometer process. At the same time, JPMorgan Chase estimates that TSMC’s revenue contribution for this year’s iPhone processor foundry will account for about 18%.
TSMC may not be able to supply Huawei chips
In other news, TSMC will lose one of its major customers, Huawei. This is neither TSMC’s nor Huawei’s making, it’s the U.S. The United States government has been trying to hurt Huawei since the beginning of last year. Early last year, the government banned Huawei from doing business with American companies. It hoped that the company will crumble and probably beg for some relief. However, this did not happen. In fact, Huawei’s smartphone shipment for 2019 was better than ever. The Chinese manufacturer shipped about 240 million units. This shows that the U.S. ban has little or no effect on the company
Now, the U.S has stiffened the ban on Huawei. Its latest announcement says that ALL companies using US chip manufacturing equipment/technology will have to obtain US licenses before supplying certain chips to subsidiaries such as Huawei or HiSilicon. This means that foundries like TSMC will not be able to supply chips to Huawei. This is because TSMC uses equipment from American companies to make Huawei’s Kirin chips.
However, all pre-existing orders and new orders must be completed within the next 120 days.