AMD May Soon Become TSMC’s Second-Largest Customer by Revenue

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The loss of Huawei’s business and the ongoing pandemic have shaken up TSMC’s customer allocations. According to a new report, AMD is likely to become the foundry’s second-largest customer this year by revenue contribution.

AMD has risen up the charts for several reasons. The company’s CPUs have been increasingly popular over the past few years as Ryzen and Epyc either challenged Intel or took an outright leadership position in the market. AMD also designed both the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series S|X SoCs, and the recent console launches are definitely having an impact. Outside of its I/O dies (still built at GlobalFoundries, as far as we know) and any legacy Polaris or Ryzen 2xxx CPUs it still produces, AMD is now a TSMC-only shop. Incidentally, AMD’s agreement with GF to purchase wafers only runs through 2021. If AMD intends to use 14nm I/O dies for future Ryzen CPUs, it’ll need to negotiate a new WSA this year.

Image by Robert Castellano

These predictions are from Robert Castellano, president of The Information Network. HiSilicon (Huawei) falls off the chart altogether in 2021, with its capacity redistributed to other companies. It is not clear why Qualcomm’s revenue share is projected to decline, and the drop-off for Nvidia seems to suggest Samsung will continue to handle much of Ampere manufacturing.

MediaTek makes a big move this year, which makes sense if it’s ramping its own shipment after Huawei’s implosion. Intel is another interesting mover and accounts for significantly more revenue in 2021 than it did just two years ago.

If you’ve paid attention to Intel’s quieter announcements, this isn’t all that surprising. Intel has moved a significant percentage of its non-CPU manufacturing to TSMC and Samsung to free up more space for building CPUs. Intel spent 2019 ramping 14nm capacity and brought its new 10nm Fab 42 online in late 2020. Moving chipsets and other non-CPU manufacturing over to the contract foundries was the most practical way for Intel to dedicate more space to CPUs in the short term.

This year, Intel will launch its gamer-oriented Xe-HPG GPU and its Ponte Vecchio datacenter GPU should ship at the end of this year or in early 2022. Its entry-level Xe Max is likely already built at the foundry. These products, combined with chipsets and other low-level hardware, likely explain Intel’s rise as well.

Apple, of course, continues to be the proverbial 800-pound gorilla in the room, with more than double the revenue share of any other company. You can see why TSMC would want other leading-edge customers beyond Apple. The combined revenue value of Intel, AMD, and Qualcomm isn’t enough to equal Apple (24 percent versus 25.4 percent). You’ve got to toss Nvidia on the pile as well to exceed the revenue Apple drives single-handedly.

Credit: Raysonho @ Open Grid Scheduler / Grid Engine / CC0 1.0

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