By Ed Hardy • 8:40 am, August 16, 2021
TSMC is the world’s largest pure-play semiconductor maker and 20% of its entire revenue comes from making processors for Apple. The Taiwanese chip-maker produces all the CPUs for Mac, iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch.
Years ago, both Samsung and TSMC made processors for early iPhone versions. But TSMC pushed the tech ahead to the point where it could build chips that Samsung couldn’t match. Now the Taiwanese company supplies all iPhone processors. The same holds true for the other Apple computers.
That’s enough silicon to account for a fifth of TSMC’s chip revenue, according to Digitimes. It’s no surprise that TSMC gives Apple orders priority over all other customers.
TSMC and Apple: productive partnership
TSMC supplies Apple with CPUs that give it a competitive edge. A prime example is the M1 Mac chip that outperforms Intel’s 11-gen mobile chips in many ways. And the A15 in the iPhone 13 will come from TSMC as well.
Those processors are made with a 5nm process, but the Asian foundry is moving ahead and Apple will continue to benefit. TSMC reportedly will supply its partner with 3nm processors in 2022.
Intel used to make Mac chips but hasn’t been able to keep up. It’s struggled with its 7nm and 10nm process, and therefore has been forced to outsource 5nm and 3nm chip production to TSMC.