Apple supplier TSMC slows its three-nanometer expansion plans

According to TrendForce research, Intel plans to outsource the tGPU chipset in Meteor Lake to TSMC for manufacture. 

Mass production of this product was initially planned for the second half of 2022 but was later postponed to the first half of 2023 due to product design and process verification issues, adds the research group. It’s not sure how this will affect Apple’s 3nm chip plans.

TrendForce says that, recently, the product’s mass production schedule has been postponed again to the end of 2023 for some reason, nigh completely cancelling 3nm production capacity originally booked in 2023 “with only a marginal amount of wafer input remaining for engineering verification.”

TrendForce indicates that this incident has greatly affected TSMC’s production expansion plan, resulting in Apple being the one company among the first wave of 3nm process clients from the second half of 2022 to the start 2023 with products including M series chips and A17 Bionic. In view of this, TSMC has decided to slow the progress of its production expansion to ensure production capacity is not excessively idle, leading to massive cost amortization pressure, according to TrendForce. 

The research group says it’s worth mentioning, although Intel has significantly adjusted its 2023 outsourcing plan, causing TSMC to postpone its 2023 expansion plans, looking at other advanced process clients including AMD, MediaTek, and Qualcomm, all of these companies successively plan to mass-produce 3nm products in 2024. At the same time, Apple’s new 2024 iPhone is expected to fully adopt 3nm processors. The introduction of the aforementioned clients will inject momentum into TSMC’s 3nm capacity utilization and revenue performance in 2024, according to TrendForce.

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.