The popularity of the iPhone 11 might be a problem for AMD and NVIDIA
The company bet on its chips by advanced technology with the norms of 7 nm, may soon face serious challenges. Recently, it became clear that the main contract manufacturer of semiconductors for 7-nm process, TSMC is unable to cope with the influx of orders. But now the situation threatens to completely spiral out of control due to the need for an unplanned increase in production of 7-nm processors Apple A13 Bionic, which Apple uses in its newest smartphones family iPhone 11.
As it became known, the demand for the iPhone 11, iPhone 11, iPhone Pro and 11 Pro Max exceeded original forecasts, and now Apple intends to increase the supply of their devices by 10 %. This means that the company will need an additional 8 million processors Apple A13 Bionic, the production of which will be located at the facilities of TSMC. In this request, Apple will obviously be satisfied in the first place, because this company is for the Taiwanese semiconductor giant key client. Accordingly, the quotas of the other customers at the same will inevitably be trimmed, because the expansion of production — a process that requires significant time and financial costs.
For all technology companies that I order from TSMC to manufacture chips at advanced technology, this is very disturbing news. Previously it was reported that the average time of release of 7-nm silicon crystals grown by TSMC from two to six months because of the high load production lines. In addition, the semiconductor smithy began to offer the clients to buy 7-nm quota for the whole year, which requires accurate long-term forecasting, and deprives customers of the ability to make adjustments in their plans in accordance with changes of market conditions. All this can create big problems with the supply of certain 7-nm chips, which may be in short supply in the near future.
To suffer from the sudden growth of the appetites of the Apple are many, including AMD and NVIDIA. AMD is eating at TSMC production of processors Ryzen and EPYC, and graphics chips family, Navi. Above all these products are now under threat of backorders and shortages. NVIDIA have not yet announced clear plans for the production of 7-nm products, but in the bowels of the company are prepared with a minimum of compute accelerators Ampere, which probably will produce by advanced technology. However, NVIDIA, unlike AMD, has the ability to go to another manufacturing partner, Samsung, which will allow it to survive the overload TSMC without any consequences.
In addition to chips from AMD and NVIDIA in the «risk group» are also products of other manufacturers. In particular, this technology is available mobile processors Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 used in many flagship smartphones, programmable gate arrays Xilinx Versal, many mobile chips, Huawei, expected in 2020, the system on chip firm Mediatek.
A couple of weeks ago, the analytical company IC Insights has announced that demand for 7-nm process technology was very high, and it’s only been three quarters since a full run of the 7-nm technology up to the moment she began to form more than 20% of TSMC revenue. Along the way, in the report it was reported that Taiwan semiconductor company plans to make additional investments to increase production volumes on «thin» processes due to the fact that customers are TSMC are now faced with the backorders and delays the execution of your orders. Now it turns out that these problems can hit the market even harder than previously thought, before the semiconductor smithy will be able to cope with the situation.