We are in the middle of the second quarter and two of the big three foundries in the market are doing the same after what lies ahead. And it is that with this new increase there would really be four those that were produced in less than two years, which indicates that the forecasts were not only erroneous, but also unrealistic.
The problem of production costs for NVIDIA and AMD
It is true that TSMC was the one that moved the most during the commented period, but now Samsung must do the same because the two companies have a common problem: material prices. This is where the whole argument of the two semiconductor companies resides and turns, where the changes and increases are very different. TSMC talks about a maximum of one 8%
If we dig a little deeper, the Taiwanese say they will increase costs between a 5 and 8%while Samsung opens the GAP between a 15 and only 20% appointed. Both also state that this will apply to certain nodes, usually state-of-the-art, which is understandable to some extent, but what neither of them talk about are the reasons for this increase.
If we recall, TSMC raised the price by 20% last year, plus what is now commented would translate to nearly 30% in two years. We have already seen it in the cakes of 5nm and possibly in those of 4N and N4 for NVIDIA and other partners, such as Apple. The average price of these wafers is higher than 16,000 about dollars, thus increasing the price per chip.
Samsung is cheaper, but the exact price of its wafers is unknown, although rumors are pricing it by old nodes and not new ones, which is a mystery that has its lights and shadows.
Is there no way to mitigate the rising prices of graphics and processors?
There are two main reasons and then several custom reasons. The first, as we mentioned, is the increase in the price of raw materials, which have exploded, mainly rare earths imported from Africa. The second reason has to do with performance and issues faced by wafer manufacturers.
Samsung and TSMC are both facing known issues with their GAA nodes. TSMC will implement it in its 2nm being the last of the big three and logically present nodes fund future nodes. Then came the production reserve with the purchase of more scanners from ASML, but that is another matter. For its part, Samsung is in a showdown between rumors and statements to its 3GAA.
Los taiwaneses han enfrentado grande problems con la creación de los transistores y las fugas de energía en los mismos, donde ahora y tras las últimas declaraciones la compañía afirma que commenzará a producir su primeros chips à 3 nm en este quarter siendo el primero en llegar en the world.
The production ramp is something else as such since, as we well know, Tape In and Tape Out they are well marked, so it can take months until then. Likewise, Samsung will not only offer a more advanced node than Intel and TSMC, it may be less dense as such or equal to what is said, but what is certain is that it will be more efficient. It remains to be seen whether it will be faster with its new MBCFET transistors.
What about Intel in all of this? Well, they continue their policy of not raising prices, we’ll see how long that lasts given the moves of their rivals and the cost increases mentioned above. That said, it makes sense that the prices of NVIDIA and AMD graphics cards and processors will increase, as these margins no van to be taken back by these companies no matter how much they ask Samsung and TSMC.