According to a report from digitimesit looks like TSMC’s 3nm wafers are going to be super expensive and will affect the prices of next-generation CPUs and GPUs.
NVIDIA, AMD and Intel braced for high wafer cost as TSMC’s 3nm crosses $20K US price tag.
The report states that due to its dominance in the field of chip manufacturing and the lack of competition yet in the 3nm process segment, TSMC will significantly increase the prices of its 3nm wafers. The price of TSMC wafers is shown in a chart showing that the wafer jump from 7nm ($10,000 USD) to 5nm ($16,000) is around 60%. Now, with 3nm, TSMC’s wafer costs are expected to exceed the $20,000 figure in the US, which would mean we’re bound to get more expensive products in the form of next-gen CPUs and GPUs.
Currently, AMD and NVIDIA are some of the major customers of TSMC along with Apple and others. NVIDIA has definitely increased the prices of its cards by segment. The RTX 4090 costs 10-15% more than the RTX 3090 and the RTX 4080 costs 50% more than the RTX 3080. It was also reported that the CEO of NVIDIA visited Taiwan to talk with the CEO of TSMC about securing 3nm wafers from the ground up for its next-generation GPU lineup.
AMD has been able to offset the price by mixing and matching different nodes in its chiplet products. The Ryzen, Radeon, and EPYC line uses 5nm and 6nm chipsets and technologies to help reduce overall costs associated with monolithic dies. In the future, Intel will also take advantage of the TSMC N5 and N3 compute nodes for its Meteor Lake and Arrow Lake tGPU IP.
However, this dominance situation will also allow the price of each generation of wafer foundries to rise sharply without any resistance. It is understood that 3nm has already exceeded 20,000 US dollars. With the sharp increase in production costs, the chip industry is forced to pass it on to downstream customers and consumers, and the price of new terminal products will no longer recede.
[…] NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang bluntly said that despite the limited performance improvement, the increase in new products is reasonable, because the price of 12-inch cast wafers has risen significantly compared to the past, not just a little more expensive.
But this reliance on TSMC means that the semiconductor manufacturing company will remain in a dominant position and can justify the higher prices by its technological advantage over others. Their rival Samsung had also stated that they were going to start mass production of their own 3nm node (GAP) by 2024, however things are not looking great as yields are less than 20% and there are many issues with the next generation node from Samsung at the moment. All of this means that chip prices will continue to rise in cost terms, and unless there is another competitor on the same level as TSMC, we cannot expect this trend to be broken.
Intel has said that it is oOne of his goals is for chipmakers like NVIDIA and AMD to have their products manufactured in their nearby factories. and we’ll see how that goes.
news source: retired engineer
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