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Rumor: TSMC Expected to Produce 5nm Intel CPUs in H1 2022

prime007

Member
This article was posted a day ago but caught my attention.

The original source (in Traditional Chinese) is here. Based on what I've learned & read here, it seems rather dubious but I thought it should be mentioned.
 

hskuo

Member
I believe this is what tsmc "Want" and pursuing now. When tsmc announced to build fab in Arizona but not Washington(their Wafertech Hub) or NY, it shows their intension and tactics.
 

Daniel Nenni

Admin
Staff member
I believe this is what tsmc "Want" and pursuing now. When tsmc announced to build fab in Arizona but not Washington(their Wafertech Hub) or NY, it shows their intension and tactics.

Never underestimate TSMC. Under C.C. 's leadership anything is possible. If Intel wants to compete directly with AMD on the laptop (CPU/GPU), being on the same process with much more volume gives Intel a great advantage, absolutely.
 

benb

Member
One of the key things we learned as part of COVID-19 is that the offshoring of critical production capabilities, for things like medicine, semiconductors and defense, puts the USA in a strategically vulnerable position. Said another way, it enables attackers to attack. Said yet another way, having no leading edge semiconductor production in the USA, onshore, could spark a war.

While TSMC deserves nothing but praise, there are multiple ways they could become the villain. First, if production shifts from USA to Taiwan, this strategically weakens the USA, and TSMC will be blamed. Second, there certainly will be job losses in the USA if production shifts to Taiwan, and TSMC will be blamed.

These are big issues to resolve, and I hope Intel and TSMC find a way.
 

Daniel Nenni

Admin
Staff member
The whole world seems to be concerned with supply issues now more than ever.


Hopefully this concern will help the US semiconductor supply chain after the election. It would be great to see Intel and others back in the leading edge foundry business. The other option would be for TSMC and/or Samsung to ramp up manufacturing in the US but remember that could be turned off at anytime.
 

Daniel Nenni

Admin
Staff member
Intel did spend $billions and have the time for 7nm in the us and it didn't happen.

Yes, I keep getting calls about Intel going fabless. Not gonna happen. Semiconductor manufacturing is part of Intel's DNA. Intel using TSMC to burn AMD on the low end is very possible and most likely probable.
 

benb

Member
The whole world seems to be concerned with supply issues now more than ever.


Hopefully this concern will help the US semiconductor supply chain after the election. It would be great to see Intel and others back in the leading edge foundry business. The other option would be for TSMC and/or Samsung to ramp up manufacturing in the US but remember that could be turned off at anytime.
How to get $50B USD
As-Is: You are a blue chip stock with a large capital expense budget you would like to reduce.
Step 0: Create a credible threat of offshoring production
Step 1: Form an industry association, collect $5-10M in fees
Step 2: Engage McKinsey or Bain or Boston Consulting to write a report in favor of $50B federal spending
Step 3: Nothing gonna happen as long as McConnell runs the Senate, so collect more money, try to flip senate
Step 4: Democrats decide where the $50B goes. Let’s see, Oregon, check, New York check. Texas?
Result: ROI is 10,000%. Capital budget reduced from $10B/year to $3-5B.
TIC (This is capitalism)
 
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prime007

Member
I found the last section of this article (https://www.eetimes.com/tsmc-sees-hpc-as-next-inflection-point/) interesting. It quotes Brett Simpson (https://www.tsmc.com/english/investorRelations/analyst_coverage.htm) from Arete Research who states:
There are early plans for Intel to build CPUs at TSMC based on N4 in 2022 as well as with Samsung, which could lead to a further boost TSMC’s N5 capacity plan and a significant uptick in TSMC’s long-term growth outlook

I regard EE Times to be reputable and Brett is an analyst that's officially recognized by TSMC so his words has weight. The signs seem to point to TSMC-produced Intel CPUs in the not too distant future.
 

Daniel Nenni

Admin
Staff member
The word on the street is that Intel has TSMC 7nm, 5nm, and 3nm PDKs. I have not heard about tape outs as of yet. It is my understanding that Intel will use TSMC for low power and cost competitive products including CPU/GPUs. No word on Intel using Samsung but I highly doubt it. I will ask around though.


I found the last section of this article (https://www.eetimes.com/tsmc-sees-hpc-as-next-inflection-point/) interesting. It quotes Brett Simpson (https://www.tsmc.com/english/investorRelations/analyst_coverage.htm) from Arete Research who states:
I regard EE Times to be reputable and Brett is an analyst that's officially recognized by TSMC so his words has weight. The signs seem to point to TSMC-produced Intel CPUs in the not too distant future.
 

f4rewell1

Member
I believe this is what tsmc "Want" and pursuing now. When tsmc announced to build fab in Arizona but not Washington(their Wafertech Hub) or NY, it shows their intension and tactics.

Of course; TSMC is Taiwan’s life insurance against China and not TSMC but Taiwan government blocks the TSMC’s Arizona fab I think.
 

count

Active member
The word on the street is that Intel has TSMC 7nm, 5nm, and 3nm PDKs. I have not heard about tape outs as of yet. It is my understanding that Intel will use TSMC for low power and cost competitive products including CPU/GPUs. No word on Intel using Samsung but I highly doubt it. I will ask around though.


The economics of the chip business is that most of the money is spent developing the design/process, and you spread that out over as many chips as you possibly can. Moving over low end business to TSMC is going to hurt the economics of higher end chips as well. I think the only path forward for Intel is to go fabless. The longer they delay the harder the transition will be.
 

Portland

Member
Intel will have a little time because of this pandemic. There will be demand but less of it.

"Now Acer can meet no more than a third of the market demand for Chromebooks due to a significant shortage of individual components."

 

prime007

Member
Intel just had their earnings call today (https://seekingalpha.com/article/4380824-intel-corporation-intc-ceo-bob-swan-on-q3-2020-results-earnings-call-transcript?part=single) & they indicated that "really early 2021" was when Intel needed to make a decision on either "buying more 7-nanometer equipment or whether a third-party foundry (most likely TSMC) would be adding that capacity. So we're going through this process really looking at our capabilities others' capabilities around those three fundamental criteria (schedule and schedule predictability, product performance and economics with supply chain )."

ZDnet also summaries the Intel earnings call here: https://www.pcmag.com/news/intel-to...ird-party-foundry-for-7nm-chips-by-early-2021
 
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Arthur Hanson

Well-known member
This still leaves TSM and Taiwan as the fulcrum of the semi world, for Taiwan dominates several areas of the semi world and the supply chain.
 

Portland

Member
This is an assumption but Intel will put their cash into 5nm. They can't spend billions and get nothing from Oregon and Arizona anymore.

I know oxford is in great Britain but the university fighting over cash from a vaccine that made people sick and killed someone is what stem has become in part of the us.
 

prime007

Member
Intel CEO Bob Swan was just on CNBC today. He was asked about the potential outsourcing of 7-nanometer to outside foundries. To ME, It really seemed to sound like the decision has already been made...especially when Swan:
  • 1. Didn't answer the interviewer's question on margins
  • 2. Mentions the responsibility/importance of providing a "predictable cadence of leadership products for our customers" for 2023 products.
  • 3. Mentions Intel has been designing products to have the inherent flexibility to use both Intel or a 3rd party foundry.
  • 4. Mentions "how to retain some of the essential benefits of making of designing/making stuff for ourselves in the event we take things outside with the relationships that we have with our 3rd-party foundry partners."
 

Daniel Nenni

Admin
Staff member
Intel 7nm is TSMC 5nm. Porting designs from one foundry to another is not going to be competitive with chips from AMD that are designed only for TSMC. Hopefully he is misspeaking.
 
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