Apple Supplier TSMC Says Global Chip Shortage Likely to Last into 2022

Apple supplier TSMC today said it is doing all it can to increase productivity and alleviate the worldwide chip shortage, but that tight supplies will likely continue into next year (via Reuters).

tsmc semiconductor chip inspection 678x452
The comments followed a reported 19.4% rise in the Taiwanese firm's first-quarter profit, which beat market expectations, thanks to strong chip demand and a global shift to home working.

TSMC did not mention Apple specifically, but it is a major Apple supplier and this suggests that the ongoing chip shortage could continue to impact Apple. TSMC produces A-series chips for the iPhone, iPad, and Apple silicon chips for the Mac. Foxconn, another Apple supplier, said in March that it expects the global chip shortage to extend into the second quarter of 2022.

An earlier report claimed Apple is facing a global shortage of certain components for some of its MacBook and ‌iPad‌ models, which is causing the Cupertino tech giant and its suppliers to postpone production of the products. Samsung is also said to be feeling the impact in its production of OLED displays, which Apple uses in its iPhones.

The ongoing chip shortage was caused by supply chain issues that arose during the global health crisis and weather-related events like the freeze in Texas that shut down Austin chip plants.

As chip factories struggled to keep up with standard outputs during the pandemic, demand surged as people purchased devices for an at-home lifestyle, leading to higher prices. As a result, electronics companies bought up all available supply, leading chip makers to run at capacity.

TSMC's business was initially boosted by the shortage, but it is now impacting manufacturers of high-performance computing (HPC) products like smartphones and laptops.

"Our first-quarter business was supported by HPC-related demand, balanced by a milder smartphone seasonality than in recent years," said Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Wendell Huang, referring to high performance chips.

"Moving into second quarter 2021, we expect our revenue to be flattish, as HPC-related demand will continue to grow, offset by smartphone seasonality."

At its earnings briefing, TSMC said it expects to post revenues of between $12.9 billion and $13.2 billion in the second quarter of 2021, which is a 1% sequential increase at the midpoint.

TSMC said this month it plans to invest $100 billion over the next three years to significantly expand its production capacity to meet ever-increasing demand. The new investment came the same week that Apple reportedly booked all of TSMC's production capacity for 4nm process chips, which are expected to be used in "new generation" Mac computers.

Tag: TSMC

Top Rated Comments

ingambe Avatar
21 months ago

That’s sad. 2022? Why so long.
You don't build a chip factory in a few months unfortunately
So the capacity for the next year is fixed but the demand has increased
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ksec Avatar
21 months ago
Let's just get one thing straight. ( Somehow Mainstream media likes to keep repeating the same narrative ) It doesn't impact "Apple Silicon". There are no seriously shortage of leading edge 5nm Capacity unless Apple all of sudden decide to sell 150M iPhone 12 / 13 from their usual ~100M.

It impact Apple because other component within their devices are all made in TSMC. ( Not Qualcomm Modem... yet ) And those may not be in a good position to find capacity.

But I am willing to bet Apple and TSMC will smooth these out specific to Apple's order behind the sense. What is the point of having enough A14, when you dont have enough of other component holding you back. Basically it will be the rest of the industry that suffer most.

If people dont understand how this work, just look back at Toilet paper during the pandemic. It is the same thing, roughly described as Bullwhip effect.

https://searcherp.techtarget.com/definition/bullwhip-effect
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
contacos Avatar
21 months ago
This will probably lead to a price increase of the end product too
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Sasparilla Avatar
21 months ago

Can’t understand why another chip manufacturing plant hasn’t shown up yet? Competition? Let’s drive prices down and innovation up not create another bloated company.
Because it takes years to plan and build out chip fabrication factories and TSMC is ahead of everyone else in the industry despite money and effort (Intel just released their latest desktop chips at the same size 14nm they had when the iPhone 6s came out). Intel had originally planned on going to 10nm in 2015. Samsung is having trouble with their latest process (this is why nVidia gpu's are barely a trickle) that is actually slightly bigger (less advanced) than the one TSMC has been using on the iPhone 12's CPU. Seems its alot of art in there with the science.

Demand went way up with everyone at home as well (and you can't build chip factories that quick). In amongst this the U.S. government (prior admin) restricted use of the big Chinese fab company (don't remember the name) so that took some capacity away. Bit of a train wreck looking at it all.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
h3ysw5nkan Avatar
21 months ago
Literally every other manufacturing sector is experiencing overcapacity, yet the chips we can‘t seem to live without can‘t be fabricated fast enough. We need more collaboration and growth in this sector.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ksec Avatar
21 months ago

Can’t understand why another chip manufacturing plant hasn’t shown up yet? Competition? Let’s drive prices down and innovation up not create another bloated company.
Drive Price Down? Seriously? Wafer Price from TSMC is "ridiculously" inexpensive, if not cheap for what is on offer.

Bloated Company? Seriously? TSMC innovation and efficiency is unrivalled in the industry.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

apple chip lab

Apple Chip Supplier TSMC to Expand Production Capacity With $100 Billion Investment Over Next Three Years

Thursday April 1, 2021 12:28 am PDT by
Long-time Apple supplier TSMC, which produces A-series chips for the iPhone, iPad, and Apple silicon chips for the Mac, will invest $100 billion over the next three years to significantly expand its production capacity to meet ever-increasing demand, Bloomberg reports. TSMC previously announced a planned expenditure of up to $28 billion in 2021 alone; however, an ongoing chip shortage is...
tsmc semiconductor chip inspection 678x452

Apple Supplier TSMC Readies 2nm Chips for 2024

Wednesday July 28, 2021 9:00 am PDT by
Apple chip supplier TSMC is planning to manufacture chips with a 2nm fabrication process by 2024, according to Nikkei Asia. TSMC plans to build a new factory on 50 acres of land for two-nanometer chips in Hsinchu, Taiwan, scheduled to begin manufacturing operations in 2024. Construction has been cleared to begin in early 2022, with equipment being installed in 2023. For context, if Apple...
3nm apple silicon feature

Intel Eager to Avoid Clashes With Apple As It Looks to Secure TSMC's 3nm Chip Supply

Friday December 3, 2021 2:20 am PST by
Intel is looking to develop a closer relationship with TSMC, Apple's largest and most important chip supplier, to avoid possible clashes with the Cupertino tech giant over TSMC's 3nm chip production, according to DigiTimes. Yesterday, we reported on TSMC beginning pilot production of its 3nm process that will eventually be used in future Apple silicon Macs. Apple currently uses a 5nm process ...
iphone 12 5g

iPhone 14 Could Have Better Battery Life Thanks to New 5G Chip

Tuesday February 22, 2022 5:25 am PST by
The iPhone 14 could offer better battery life and feature Wi-Fi 6E connectivity thanks to a new 5G chip, supply chain sources claim. Taiwan's Economic Daily News reports that TSMC has obtained all of Apple's orders for its 5G radio frequency (RF) chips for the iPhone 14 lineup, taking over from Samsung. The chips, likely related to Apple's selection of Qualcomm's Snapdragon X65 modem, are...
Apple 5G Modem Feature

Apple Diversifies Supply Chain for Custom-Designed 5G Modem for iPhones in 2023

Wednesday February 23, 2022 2:18 am PST by
Apple is in preliminary talks with new suppliers about backend orders for its first in-house 5G modem chips for iPhones, according to a new report from DigiTimes. Apple is reportedly negotiating with ASE Technology, which owns Advanced Semiconductor Engineering (ASE) and Siliconware Precision Industries (SPIL), to package some of its first self-designed 5G modem chips. The report notes...
tsmc semiconductor chip inspection 678x452

Apple Products Could See 'Noticeable' Price Rises Amid Increased Chip Costs

Monday September 6, 2021 8:37 am PDT by
Apple will need to pay more for the chips in its devices and may pass rising costs on to its customers, according to sources speaking to Nikkei Asia. TSMC, Apple's main chip supplier, is in the process of increasing its prices following wider inflation in the industry caused by the global chip supply shortage. The company's planned price rises are said to be the most substantial chip price...
3nm apple silicon feature

Apple Supplier TSMC Readies 3nm Chip Production for Second Half of 2022

Friday June 18, 2021 6:59 am PDT by
Apple supplier TSMC is preparing to produce 3nm chips in the second half of 2022, and in the coming months, the supplier will begin production of 4nm chips, according to a new report from DigiTimes. Apple had previously booked the initial capacity of TSMC's 4nm chip production for future Macs and more recently ordered TSMC to begin production of the A15 chip for the upcoming iPhone 13,...
m1 pro vs max feature

Future Apple Silicon Macs Will Reportedly Use 3nm Chips With Up to 40 Cores

Friday November 5, 2021 6:44 am PDT by
The Information's Wayne Ma today shared alleged details about future Apple silicon chips that will succeed the first-generation M1, M1 Pro, and M1 Max chips, which are manufactured based on Apple chipmaking partner TSMC's 5nm process. The report claims that Apple and TSMC plan to manufacture second-generation Apple silicon chips using an enhanced version of TSMC's 5nm process, and the chips...

Popular Stories

iphone 14 pro hands snowflakes 1

Best Black Friday iPhone Deals Still Available

Wednesday November 23, 2022 1:55 pm PST by
Cellular carriers have always offered big savings on the newest iPhone models during the holidays, and Black Friday 2022 is no different. Right now we're tracking notable offers on the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro devices from AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile. For even more savings, keep an eye on older models like the iPhone 13. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors....
General Black Friday Deals 2022 Green

All the Apple Black Friday Deals You Can Still Get

Friday November 25, 2022 4:40 am PST by
Although Black Friday is now technically over, many Apple products are still seeing major discounts. In this article, you'll find every Apple device with a notable Black Friday sale that's still available. We'll be updating as prices change and new deals arrive, so be sure to keep an eye out if you don't see the sale you're looking for yet. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of...
ipad holiday bulbs

Best Black Friday iPad Deals Still Available

Thursday November 24, 2022 12:25 pm PST by
Black Friday deals have been in full swing for the better part of a month, and now that the shopping holiday is officially here we're seeing even more solid discounts on Apple devices. We're highlighting the best sales for all of Apple's product lines, and in this article you'll find the best Black Friday sales on iPad, iPad Pro, iPad Air, and iPad mini. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner ...
airpods pro 2

Apple Engineer Addresses Lack of Lossless Support on New AirPods Pro

Friday November 25, 2022 2:58 am PST by
An Apple engineer has addressed the lack of lossless audio support in the second-generation AirPods Pro in a new interview. Current Bluetooth technology in the AirPods lineup means that Apple's audio products do not support Apple Music Lossless audio. Apple has previously hinted that it may develop its own codec and connectivity standard that builds on AirPlay and supports higher quality...
mac imac snowflakes

Best Black Friday iMac and MacBook Deals Still Available

Thursday November 24, 2022 1:07 pm PST by
Our Black Friday coverage continues today with the best deals you can find on MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and iMac. As with all Black Friday deals, we aren't sure how long any of these will last, and prices are always fluctuating, so if you see something you want, be sure to buy it soon. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a...
maxresdefault

Nothing Phone 1 Displays AirPods Battery Level After Latest OS Update

Friday November 25, 2022 3:33 am PST by
Nothing Phone 1 users today began receiving the Nothing OS 1.1.7 update, which adds support for displaying the battery percentage of connected AirPods, amongst other improvements and bug fixes. If you own a Nothing Phone 1, you can check for the OTA update by going to Settings -> System -> System updates. Bear in mind that as support for displaying AirPods battery level is still an...
apple watch gold ornaments

Best Black Friday Apple Watch Deals Still Available

Wednesday November 23, 2022 9:31 am PST by
We're tracking all of the best Apple product discounts for Black Friday this week, and the Apple Watch always makes a great gift around the holiday season, so you're guaranteed to find solid discounts right now. In this article, you'll discover the best Black Friday sales on Apple Watch Series 8, Apple Watch SE, and Apple Watch Ultra. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these...