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
19 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
19 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
19 months ago
This will probably lead to a price increase of the end product too
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Sasparilla Avatar
19 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
19 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
19 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

USB C Over Lightning Feature

EU Passes Law to Switch iPhone to USB-C by End of 2024

Tuesday October 4, 2022 3:30 am PDT by
The European Parliament today voted overwhelmingly in favor of enforcing USB-C as a common charging port across a wide range of consumer electronic devices, including the iPhone and AirPods, by the end of 2024. The proposal, known as a directive, forces all consumer electronics manufacturers who sell their products in Europe to ensure that a wide range of devices feature a USB-C port. This...
General iOS 16 Feature Yellow

10 New iOS 16 Features Coming Later This Year

Monday October 3, 2022 2:41 pm PDT by
iOS 16 was released to the public three weeks ago with a customizable Lock Screen, the ability to edit iMessages, improvements to Focus modes, and much more. And in the coming months, iPhone and iPad users have even more new features to look forward to. We've rounded up 10 new features coming to the iPhone and iPad later this year, according to Apple. Many of the features are part of iOS...
ipad pro m1 feature

Gurman: Apple Event This October Remains Unlikely, No Touch ID for iPhone 15

Sunday October 2, 2022 6:41 am PDT by
Apple is developing new iPad Pro, Mac, and Apple TV models, and at least some of these products will be released in October, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. However, Gurman continues to believe that Apple is unlikely to hold an event this month. In the latest edition of his Power On newsletter, Gurman said "the big iPhone 14 unveiling last month was probably it for Apple in 2022 in...
iOS 16

Apple Preparing iOS 16.0.3 With More Bug Fixes Following iPhone 14 Launch

Monday October 3, 2022 7:53 am PDT by
iOS 16.0.2 was released last month with several bug fixes for iPhone 14 issues, excessive copy and paste permission prompts, and more. Now, evidence suggests that Apple is planning to release iOS 16.0.3 with additional bug fixes. Evidence of an upcoming iOS 16.0.3 software update has shown up in MacRumors analytics logs, which have been a reliable indicator in the past. There are several...
Apple SIM Card

Apple SIM No Longer Available for Activating New Cellular Data Plans on iPads

Sunday October 2, 2022 8:04 am PDT by
As of October 1, Apple SIM is no longer available for activating new cellular data plans on supported iPad models, according to an Apple support document. Introduced in 2014, the Apple SIM was designed to allow iPad users to activate cellular data plans from multiple carriers around the world. Initially, the Apple SIM was a physical nano-SIM card, but it was embedded inside later iPad Pro...
maxresdefault

Video: AirPods Pro 2 vs. Bose QuietComfort II

Monday October 3, 2022 12:50 pm PDT by
Apple on September 23 officially launched the second-generation version of the AirPods Pro, introducing updated Active Noise Cancellation, Adaptive Transparency, improved sound, and more. Right around the same time, Bose introduced new QuietComfort II earbuds with many similar features, so we thought we'd compare the two to see which has the edge. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for ...
General YouTube Feature 1

You May Soon Need to Be a YouTube Premium Subscriber to Watch 4K Videos

Monday October 3, 2022 4:29 am PDT by
YouTube may make watching videos in 4K quality on the platform exclusive to only YouTube Premium subscribers, according to screenshots posted by users on Twitter and Reddit. On Reddit (1,2) and Twitter, some users have started to recently notice that on iOS, and presumably across other platforms also, YouTube is now saying that in order to watch videos in 4K, the user must be a paying...
dynamic island alan dye

Apple Executives Talk About iPhone 14 Pro's Dynamic Island in New Interview

Sunday October 2, 2022 10:48 am PDT by
In a new interview, Apple's senior vice president of software engineering, Craig Federighi, and Apple's vice president of human interface design, Alan Dye, sat down to discuss the thinking behind the iPhone 14 Pro's Dynamic Island and how it was developed. During the interview with the Japanese magazine Axis, Federighi, who oversees the development of iOS, said Dynamic Island represents the...