According to a report from Asian Nikkei Review (opens in new tab), TSMC stated yesterday that it has stopped taking orders from Huawei since May 15. The foundry also confirmed that it will not ship wafers to Huawei after September 14.
New U.S. regulations stipulate that non-U.S. companies that utilize American technology or tools must apply for an export license to sell to Huawei. TSMC Chairman Mark Liu didn't comment on whether TSMC will apply for a license to continue doing business with the Chinese tech giant.
Despite Huawei's exit and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, TSMC is optimistic about its future. The foundry estimated revenues between $11.2 billion to $11.5 billion for the third quarter of this year. With Huawei out of the picture, TSMC has freed up a lot of production capacity.
Liu didn't mention any names, but he affirmed that TSMC is working in close collaboration with its other clients to fill the gap Huawei left behind.
Apple could benefit most from all this. The tech company is already one of TSMC's biggest clients, since the foundry produces the mobile chips inside the iPhones. However, a recent Digitimes (opens in new tab)report claims that Apple will tap TSMC to produce the its custom Arm-based Apple Silicon (opens in new tab), which could further bolster the existing relationship between the two companies.
Then there are other star clients, such as AMD, Broadcom, Nvidia and Qualcomm. We think TSMC will cope just fine without Huawei.
Huawei had already started obtaining its chips from other sources, with one of them being Semiconductor Manufacturing International (SMIC) (opens in new tab). However, the orders were for 14nm silicon.
Notably, SMIC or any other Chinese fab simply can't compete with TSMC because its technology is light years in front of the competition. It looks like a rough road ahead for Huawei, and it wouldn't be surprising if the company eventually has to pull the plug on HiSilicon, its chip division.