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Intel Shortages Could Last Until 2023 as TSMC Reportedly Won't Make Extra Capacity

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Although there are reports of Intel placing orders at TSMC to fabricate their chips, a DigiTimes report today points to the partnership a temporary one. According to unnamed sources, TSMC doesn't consider Intel a long-term customer and is, therefore, unlikely to build additional fabrication capacity to meet the contracts.

The sources said that TSMC sees itself more as a "rescuer" than a long-term supplier. Intel typically manufactures its own silicon for its CPUs, rather than jumping to third-parties for help. Note that TSMC does already build some chipsets and FPGAs for Intel.

Nevertheless, TSMC's 7nm capacity is already quite booked, with the likes of AMD, Nvidia and Apple taking up much of the fabrication capacity. Some capacity will free up from the falling out of the TSMC-Huawei collaboration in September, so it wouldn't come as a surprise to see Intel jumping at the opportunity.

However, TSMC isn't desperate for additional customers, and even prior to the news of delays in Intel's 7nm process, the foundry wasn't concerned about filling up the freed up capacity. 

TSMC reportedly won't be creating additional capacity to meet Intel's needs, which could mean the continuation of Intel shortages continue for quite some time. Intel expects its manufacturing processes to be back on track by around 2023.

Niels Broekhuijsen

Niels Broekhuijsen is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He reviews cases, water cooling and pc builds.