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TSMC Comments on Intel 3nm Order Rumors: Nothing Has Changed

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(Image credit: ToyW / Shutterstock.com)

It looks like yesterday's TrendForce report about Intel delaying orders for Meteor Lake's GPU tile at TSMC has attracted quite some attention from the two companies as both decided to comment on it. Both comments indicate that there are no changes to their plans. 

"TSMC does not comment on the business of individual customers," the company said in a statement published by Economic Daily. "The company's capacity expansion project is proceeding as planned." 

Meanwhile, Intel reiterated yesterday that its 14th Generation Core 'Meteor Lake' processors will be available in 2023, as planned. 

"In 2023, we will deliver our first disaggregated CPU built on Intel 4, Meteor Lake, which is showing good health in both our and our customers' labs," said Pat Gelsinger, Intel CEO, in the company's Q2 2022 earnings call last week. 

TrendForce yesterday issued a report claiming that Intel had decided to postpone the start of Meteor Lake's GPU tile production on TSMC's N3 node from late 2022 to 'late 2023,' which allegedly caused TSMC to revisit its N3 capacity investment plans.  

Because Meteor Lake is supposed to hit the market in fall 2023 (or even holiday season 2023), it hardly made a lot of sense for Intel to start high volume manufacturing (HVM) of MTL's GPU tile this year and have it delivered early in 2023. In fact, it was not genuinely beneficial from a financial accountability point of view. Therefore, moving the GPU tile HVM start to July 2023 is an entirely logical decision that should not affect the availability of Meteor Lake processors.  

As for TSMC, it has a bunch of customers planning to use N3, N3E, N3P and other N3 nodes in the 2023 to 2024 timeframe. The list includes not only Apple (TSMC's biggest client) and Intel in 2023 but also AMD, MediaTek, and Qualcomm, just to name a few, in 2024. Therefore, slowing down N3-capable capacity introduction did not make sense for TSMC, even if some of Intel's plans have changed.

Anton Shilov
Anton Shilov

Anton Shilov is a Freelance News Writer at Tom’s Hardware US. Over the past couple of decades, he has covered everything from CPUs and GPUs to supercomputers and from modern process technologies and latest fab tools to high-tech industry trends.

  • jkflipflop98
    That was a lot of words to say "Turns out Trendforce was wrong"
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    It also doesn't make much sense for TSMC to worry about their customers' plans changing when their wafer supply agreements require that customers find someone else to pick up their slack when that happens if they don't want to pay penalties for wasted fab time.
    Reply
  • SunMaster
    Why on earth would tsmc go deny rumours about a customers plans? It can’t be of interest for tsmc itself.
    Reply
  • TerryLaze
    SunMaster said:
    Why on earth would tsmc go deny rumours about a customers plans? It can’t be of interest for tsmc itself.
    Just look at this forum alone and you will get your answer...the slightest rumor about a delay or lowering of production and everybody thinks the world is ending.
    TSMC can't afford people to suspect that clients stop their orders because there is something wrong with their process so they will actively tell people that everything is ok.
    Reply
  • SunMaster
    TerryLaze said:
    Just look at this forum alone and you will get your answer...the slightest rumor about a delay or lowering of production and everybody thinks the world is ending.
    TSMC can't afford people to suspect that clients stop their orders because there is something wrong with their process so they will actively tell people that everything is ok.

    Tsmc does not have problems manufacturing at max. In fact they cannot keep up with demand. The only way this makes sense is if they have been asked by Intel to do this.
    Reply
  • Paolooliva
    Admin said:
    TSMC denies any changes with N3 expansion plans.

    TSMC Comments on Intel 3nm Order Rumors: Nothing Has Changed : Read more
    Not everything seems normal to me.
    If we give credit to Pat's words (production in the second half of 2022 and commercialization in 2023), I don't see the reason why TSMC has to postpone production.

    Any "official" Intel response ... announces the VGAs, 2 postponements and it almost seems that it will not produce them, Sapphire Rapids in 2021, then mid 2022, then 3rd quarter 2022, then end 2022, now 2023 ... what weight can it have an Intel statement?

    The Intel road-map, breakeven in 2023 and advantage in 2024 ... is already wrecked, we are 4 months from 2023, AMD has already done the drafting of Zen4D on the n4X and is in production at risk of Zen5 on 3nm .. .

    Let's hope that's not the case ... because all of 2023 on Intel7, skip desktop / mobile / server.
    Reply