TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company) is one of the few known mass producers of chipsets. The company has been in the news since recently for having test runs of the next gen Apple A-Series chips for iDevices, as Apple seems eager to move away from Samsung as the supplier of its chips. TSMC was an instant choice, although its mass producing capabilities are currently being discussed and reviewed by Apple. If everything goes right, we could see TSMC making chips for future Apple iPhones, iPads etc. And it seems like TSMC is pretty optimistic of having a very fruitful 2013 as its CEO, Morris Chang said today that the company estimates to produce 100% of all the 28nm chips in 2013. That’s a pretty fair estimate and an ambitious one too. Most chips today use the standard 32nm manufacturing process which is pretty efficient. But TSMC is capable of producing chips with the 28nm process which will be even more efficient and bang to the buck.
Perhaps the company is taking into account the bulk orders that it expects to receive from Apple in due time. Either way, 2013 will certainly be an interesting year for the Taiwanese manufacturer. The company will be spending over $9 billion during the course of the year in capital expenditures. This is because the company expects shipments of the 28nm chips to increase three-fold during 2013. It is yet to be seen as to how the trial batches of the Apple A6X chips are faring. If this deal goes through, then there’s no doubt that TSMC will profit greatly in terms of revenues and market presence. Apple’s orders usually are large in numbers given the sheer volume of devices it sells, so TSMC will be hard at work to convince Apple that they have what it takes to mass produce Apple A-Series chips in the future. This will obviously be a major setback for Samsung, which makes a large chunk of revenue from its single biggest client – Apple.
The company expects 2014 to be even brighter as it is working on bringing 20 and 16nm chips to its clients. It seems like we’ll be hearing a lot more about TSMC than usual, so we might have to get used to the name now. I don’t think the customers will be all too worried as long as they get top notch hardware on their devices. It’s almost curtains for Samsung as Apple’s chip manufacturer, and I’m sure the folks at Apple were eagerly looking forward to this day. The current A6 and A6X chips supplied by Samsung are made using the 32nm process compared to the A5′s 45nm process, so Apple is making inroads in terms of processor technology and we should see that going forward as well.