Wednesday, December 15th 2021

TSMC Wants Payment in Advance to Give Intel Access to 3 Nanometre Node

According to reports out of Taiwan, Intel's meeting with TSMC might not have ended up in favour of Intel, as TSMC has apparently asked Intel to pay up a deposit in advance to get access to its upcoming 3 nanometer node. This is unlikely to be what Intel had hoped for, but at the same time, the 3 nanometer node is likely to be popular among many of TSMC's customers, unless the cost becomes prohibitive.

Intel was apparently hoping to be able to get a dedicated production line, much in the way of what Apple has at TSMC, but it seems like this is going to cost and the question is if Intel is willing to pay or not. The reason for a dedicated production line could also come down to Intel wanting to make chips at TSMC using Intel specific tricks of the trade, that Intel doesn't want TSMC or its competitors to get too much insight into. Time will tell what will come out of this meeting between the two semiconductor giants, but it seems like Gelsinger has changed his mind about Taiwan, as he said that "Intel would continue to invest in Taiwan".
Sources: China Times, Taipei Times
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28 Comments on TSMC Wants Payment in Advance to Give Intel Access to 3 Nanometre Node

#1
londiste
Buying a product != investment.
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#2
TheoneandonlyMrK
londisteBuying a product != investment.
You make it sound like buying a packet of crisps.

You want millions of chips to sell as your own with a markup,. Invest then.

You want a packet of crisps to eat , invest then.


Soo so samey eh.
Posted on Reply
#3
TheLostSwede
londisteBuying a product != investment.
You're aware that Intel has over a thousand employees in Taiwan, no?
The investment has nothing to do with TSMC, it has to do with Intel continuing to build its business in Taiwan.
In all fairness, from what I have heard, they've cut back a bit on their FAE resources, since it's an obvious cost to Intel, but at the same time, they need to support all their customers somehow.

It was more a reference to Gelsinger's play last week where he said Taiwan was unsafe, I mean, if it's so bad, why would Intel invest more money in Taiwan?
TheoneandonlyMrKYou make it sound like buying a packet of crisps.
You might want to explain what crisps are, it's a very British word.
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#4
boidsonly
Taiwan is not going to be autonomous much longer. Any "investment" there will belong to the Chinese in short order. The world depends on Taiwan's chips but will stand idly by as it is taken under China's "protective wing".
Posted on Reply
#5
londiste
@TheLostSwede I know you have a bone to pick with Intel and Gelsinger about what he said about Taiwan but this is getting tiring.
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#6
lynx29
I just assumed a deposit was the norm for the latest node anyway, as Apple always gets the lions share of any latest node, so I just assumed they did that by paying a deposit... I mean I don't see what the problem is, pay the deposit and get the 3nm so you can win some market share back. Makes logical sense to me.

@TheLostSwede What am I missing?
Posted on Reply
#7
TheLostSwede
londiste@TheLostSwede I know you have a bone to pick with Intel and Gelsinger about what he said about Taiwan but this is getting tiring.
Huh? I just said he had a change of mind. He clearly realised his mistake and is changing his tune accordingly.
Your comment doesn't make much sense, since as I said, Intel has other business interests in Taiwan outside of making chips.
lynx29I just assumed a deposit was the norm for the latest node anyway, as Apple always gets the lions share of any latest node, so I just assumed they did that by paying a deposit... I mean I don't see what the problem is, pay the deposit and get the 3nm so you can win some market share back. Makes logical sense to me.

@TheLostSwede What am I missing?
Not sure you're missing anything, except the fact that Apple isn't on a named node and my understanding is that they're the ones that are more or less paying for much of TSMC's node advances single-handedly. I was simply relaying what the media in Taiwan is reporting about what presumably took place in the meeting between TSMC and Intel.
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#8
londiste
TheLostSwedeNot sure you're missing anything, except the fact that Apple isn't on a named node and my understanding is that they're the ones that are more or less paying for much of TSMC's node advances single-handedly. I was simply relaying what the media in Taiwan is reporting about what presumably took place in the meeting between TSMC and Intel.
Is Apple on a named node? They get early access and large share of the capacity but I do not remember anything about them being on a named node.

By the way it is interesting to note the difference in tone between China Times' and Taipei Times' coverage, if nothing else then the "investment" part of the story.
There is definitely some political posturing going on but at least in these stories it is not from Gelsinger's part.

Deposit is a very logical request from TSMC considering the chance that Intel manages to get their production working and stops orders from TSMC.
Posted on Reply
#9
TheLostSwede
londisteIs Apple on a named node? They get early access and large share of the capacity but I do not remember anything about them being on a named node.
Isn't that what I just said?
londisteBy the way it is interesting to note the difference in tone between China Times' and Taipei Times' coverage, if nothing else then the "investment" part of the story.
There is definitely some political posturing going on but at least in these stories it is not from Gelsinger's part.
Possibly because of different political alignment?
londisteDeposit is a very logical request from TSMC considering the chance that Intel manages to get their production working and stops orders from TSMC.
As I said, I think it might also have something to do with the actual differences between how TSMC normally does things and how Intel does things. TSMC obviously already has some insight into how Intel wants things made, since they're already making some Intel products. Normally TSMC's customers adapt to the TSMC node "quirks" from what I understand, but in this case there might be some compromises that means extra work for TSMC.
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#10
londiste
TheLostSwedeAs I said, I think it might also have something to do with the actual differences between how TSMC normally does things and how Intel does things. TSMC obviously already has some insight into how Intel wants things made, since they're already making some Intel products. Normally TSMC's customers adapt to the TSMC node "quirks" from what I understand, but in this case there might be some compromises that means extra work for TSMC.
This might be part of it but it should mostly come down to Intel buying a prescribed amount of chips from TSMC because they have a dedicated line which is not used for other business. Plus, as I said, risk that Intel will stop buying from TSMC at some point sooner than expected which can also cause problems for TSMC (maybe minor problems but still).
Posted on Reply
#11
TheLostSwede
londisteThis might be part of it but it should mostly come down to Intel buying a prescribed amount of chips from TSMC because they have a dedicated line which is not used for other business. Plus, as I said, risk that Intel will stop buying from TSMC at some point sooner than expected which can also cause problems for TSMC (maybe minor problems but still).
I guess the risk would be greater if it's a dedicated line with special accomodation for Intel's custom tweaks. It might not be possible to use that for other customers if/when Intel leaves as a customer.
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#12
Tartaros
TheLostSwedeIt was more a reference to Gelsinger's play last week where he said Taiwan was unsafe, I mean, if it's so bad, why would Intel invest more money in Taiwan?
Maybe it's a little too late to go back on certain taken decisions before he became CEO. Changing seats doesn't mean a 180º change if you want to be on good terms with partners, this situation looks like something he has to swallow.
Posted on Reply
#14
mechtech
Like the pic, top left "Lead in every category"

Well better get to work on those foundry's you own ;)
Posted on Reply
#15
Caring1
mechtechLike the pic, top left "Lead in every category"

Well better get to work on those foundry's you own ;)
So that's what is slowing them down, it's all that lead they are dragging around.
That stuff weighs a ton.
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#16
Fourstaff
This is quite standard procedure for TSMC no? Anyone who wants to have access to their latest and greatest will also need to chip in to fund it.
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#17
Rob94hawk
boidsonlyTaiwan is not going to be autonomous much longer. Any "investment" there will belong to the Chinese in short order. The world depends on Taiwan's chips but will stand idly by as it is taken under China's "protective wing".
With the current US administration, yep. If China wants Taiwan they'd better do it before 2024.
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#18
peteryen
Intel can invest in Malaysia, Singapore, south korea.
why Taiwan ?
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#19
Punkenjoy
Best Place to poach ex TMSC staff and get as much knowledge on TMSC technologies as possible. I really doubt Intel really want to do business with TMSC long term, they just trying to not loose too much market share but i am pretty sure they will want to get their foundry business back in pole position and for that they will do anything possible.
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#20
Chomiq
peteryenIntel can invest in Malaysia, Singapore, south korea.
why Taiwan ?
Because they're better at it?
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#21
GottenTime
Rob94hawkWith the current US administration, yep. If China wants Taiwan they'd better do it before 2024.
Lmao. You talk like you know the election results then. I'm sorry but the current admin is plenty tough on China and made it clear that aggression towards the Republic of China is not tolerated.
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#22
phanbuey
GottenTimeLmao. You talk like you know the election results then. I'm sorry but the current admin is plenty tough on China and made it clear that aggression towards the Republic of China is not tolerated.
Have they though? How tough exactly?

Gravitas: U.S. censors Taiwan at Summit for Democracies - YouTube

GLOBALink | President Biden reiterates U.S. abides by one-China policy: Chinese Vice FM - Xinhua (news.cn)

Easily the least tough administration on China in recent memory.
Posted on Reply
#24
phanbuey


One destroyer isn't "plenty tough on China".
Posted on Reply
#25
TheoneandonlyMrK
phanbuey

One destroyer isn't "plenty tough on China".
Intel will invest, simple.

Or they're going to get curb stomped by AMD and Nvidia.

Anything else is off topic sabre rattling bullshit.
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