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TSMC 2016 Technology Symposium and Apple SoCs!

TSMC 2016 Technology Symposium and Apple SoCs!
by Daniel Nenni on 03-08-2016 at 4:00 pm

 It is that time again, time for the originators of the pure-play foundry business to update their top customers and partners on the latest process technology developments and schedules. More specifically, all of the TSMC FinFET processes (16nm, 10nm, 7nm, and beyond), TSMC IP portfolio (CMOS image sensor, Embedded Flash, Power IC, and MEMS), TSMC’s backend technology (InFO and CoWos), and the latest update on the TSMC OIP Ecosystem.

The future of the semiconductor industry is promising with many growth opportunities ahead. To capture these opportunities, we need to continue to work as a collaborative innovation force. Together, we will help each other grow business and stay competitive. This vision is the foundation for the TSMC Grand Alliance. At TSMC, customers are always at the center of all our efforts. With this spirit, TSMC has become our customers’ TRUSTED technology and capacity provider along the way.

It will be interesting to hear more about TSMC’s FinFET market share and if they really did double down on 16nm capacity. I would also like to know where 10nm stands. In my opinion it will be a quick transition node like 20nm that most companies (except for Apple) will skip so they can stay on the new and improved 16FFC until 7nm goes into production. My guess is that TSMC will spend much more time on 7nm than 10nm next week. It will also be fun to try and figure out what Apple is up to based on TSMC’s updates. For example this comment from the last conference call tells me that Apple will be using a 16nm FFC variant for the iPhone 7 this fall:

As customer accelerated their technology migration into 16-nanometer node, we anticipate a significant demand drop in 20-nanometer in 2016. However, we also expect a continual ramp-up of 16-nanometer this year and expect it to contribute more than 20% of wafer revenue in 2016. We estimate our foundry market segment share of 16, 14-nanometer node increases from about 40% in 2015 to above 70% in 2016 exceeding the previous prediction we made in mid-2014.

The other Apple “tell” is the InFO packaging technology. Last year TSMC predicted that InFO will contribute more than $100 million in revenue by Q4 2016. If you consider packaging is $2 or so per chip in revenue contribution that is a SIGNIFICANT amount of chip volume which again points to Apple using TSMC for the A10 SoC.

There are four different TSMC Technical Symposiums in the U.S. and others around the world after these:

Tuesday, March 15
San Jose McEnery Convention Center
San Jose, CA
Registration Opens at 8:30 a.m.

Tuesday, March 22Boston Marriott Burlington
Burlington, MA
Registration Opens at 8:30 a.m

Thursday, March 24
Four Seasons, Austin
Austin, TX
Registration Opens at 8:30 a.m.

If you are not one of the lucky golden ticket holders, Tom Simon and I will be there and will post our observations and opinions on SemiWiki shortly thereafter. If you are looking for specific information let us know in the comments section and we will do our best to get it.

Established in 1987, TSMC is the world’s first dedicated semiconductor foundry. As the founder and a leader of the Dedicated IC Foundry segment, TSMC has built its reputation by offering advanced and “More-than-Moore” wafer production processes and unparalleled manufacturing efficiency. From its inception, TSMC has consistently offered the foundry segment’s leading technologies and TSMC COMPATIBLE® design services.

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