The world’s second Samsung meets the world’s first TSMC, what is the future fate

Recently, the scarcity of chips has become a problem in many industries, and all walks of life have been forced to stop production because of the shortage of chips. At this time, most people have turned their attention to the future chip industry to lithography machines.

And just recently, in order to increase production capacity, TSMC began to extend an olive branch to ASML to seek more lithography machines, and the order for this lithography machine will be completed soon. Why is this? Now Samsung and TSMC are in order to There are several lithography machines, but the competition is very fierce, and we can only watch from the side, because we have neither the manufacturing capacity of high-end lithography machines nor the ability to mass produce chips. We can only rely on Samsung and TSMC. A major chip manufacturer to maintain the development of its own chip industry. And with the advent of the 5G era, various smart devices will need chips, so TSMC and Samsung will also start to increase production capacity and expand their chip manufacturing capabilities.

After the first-generation 5nm mass production in 2020, the next-generation 3nm advanced process will be put on the agenda. In order to win the leading position of foundry, TSMC and Samsung have spent a lot of money in recent years, hoping to take the lead in the 3nm process node. But recently, there have been news that the development has been blocked.

TSMC recently officially confirmed that the mass production of the N3 process will be delayed by 3 to 4 months, which means that Apple’s 2022 iPhone will not be able to use TSMC’s 3nm (N3) process. Competitor Samsung uses more advanced GAAE (Gate-AlI-Around Early) transistors on the 3nm node, but Sanxing also encounters development problems, and the GAA process faces key technical problems such as leakage.

According to TSMC’s previous plan, the 3nm process will be mass-produced in the third quarter of 2022, and the specific mass-production time will be decided through consultation with customers. Mo Dakang, an industry expert, said: “From N5 to N3 is not a single lithography size reduction, it involves device architecture, interconnect metals, etc., and the process delay is normal. To explore the process, it is necessary to accumulate experience through more silicon wafer production. .”

Recently, the two manufacturers have successively released their financial reports for the fourth quarter of 2020. It can be seen from this that the world’s second-ranked Samsung meets the world’s first-ranked TSMC, and the revenue gap is not a star and a half. Data shows that in the fourth quarter of 2020, TSMC’s total revenue was NT$361.53 billion, equivalent to RMB 83.5 billion. And Samsung Electronics semiconductor division revenue reached 16.5 billion US dollars. However, Samsung’s semiconductor division mainly makes money from the memory chip business, and chip foundry production only contributes a small part of its revenue. Combining past data, it can be inferred that Samsung’s chip foundry business revenue should only be 27 billion, equivalent to one-third of TSMC’s foundry revenue.

The unpredictable chip industry has ushered in huge changes recently, and the center of this storm is still TSMC, which we are most familiar with.

After going through a series of twists and turns before, TSMC suffered heavy losses due to the black-hearted routine of the old and the United States. Not only did the market value drop on a large scale, but also its own research and development speed and production capacity were seriously affected.

However, through various efforts, TSMC completed its self-salvation and did not completely collapse, but this time Laomei put forward more excessive requirements, requiring Samsung and TSMC to hand over their own orders, inventory and sales information and other related records.

At least one of Samsung and TSMC may be murdered by the United States in the future. Although the United States has a strong control over the semiconductor industry chain, it still has a flaw, that is, the production capacity of the most advanced process chips is mainly concentrated in the hands of Samsung and TSMC.

To put it more directly, one is in South Korea and the other is in Taiwan, both far from the continental United States. This actually hides huge risks, mainly in extreme cases, the two most advanced chip production bases in the world are within the range of ordinary artillery. For the United States, this has always been an unspoken and a worry.

For the United States, in fact, in terms of capital structure, the major shareholders of these two companies are American capital, but they are generally financial investments, focusing on investment dividends, and do not directly participate in the daily operations of the company.

Like Samsung, foreign investors make up 55% of the common stock, the majority of which is also U.S. capital, while foreign investors account for 89% of the preferred stock.

Now, the time is actually very urgent, because we are also accelerating the process of the autonomy of the semiconductor industry chain, and the goal is to achieve 70% localization by 2025. If our homeland achieves security of supply by then, the United States will be somewhat passive.

So if you still stay with the United States, only if the plan does not act, or if the action is slow, it is likely to be repaired by the United States, and if the focus of production capacity is quickly shifted, then the headquarters may die even worse.

It can be said that as long as the fate is in the hands of the United States, whether it is national interests or corporate interests, it has to be put aside, and the interests of the United States are the first.

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