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Taiwan-based IC design houses, including MediaTek, continue to encounter tight capacity at their foundry partners and have to decelerate the development of their new chip products due mainly to advanced-node capacity shortages, according to industry sources.
TSMC has run its 5nm process manufacturing lines at full capacity utilization driven by robust demand from its international customers, said the sources. The foundry has introduced several upgrade versions of its 7nm process platform for chip designs highlighting their high price/performance ratio.
MediaTek's decided to use TSMC's 6nm process to make its just-unveiled Dimensity 1200 and 1100 5G SoC chips mainly because of concerns about the foundry's extremely-tight 5nm process capacity, the sources noted, adding MediaTek's latest flagship mobile chips should have been built using TSMC 5nm process.
Taiwan's fabless chipmakers continue to queue up at TSMC trying to secure production capacity for advanced processes, and may have to defer some new product launches until later this year due to insufficient capacity support, the sources said.
TSMC has said that about 80% of its 2021 capex will be utilized for its advanced 7nm, 5nm and 3nm process technologies.