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Qualcomm and MediaTek to become TSMC’s customers for second-gen 3nm node in 2024, joining Apple

TSMC has only one customer using its first 3nm process node, the N3B, and that customer is Apple. The A17 Pro chipset is being used in the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max. China Times revealed that Apple has reserved most of TSMC’s 3nm production because of the high wafer prices and low yields. However, The Information stated that TSMC’s 3nm yield was actually 70%, and that Apple received a special deal from TSMC, with the latter eating the cost of defective chips produced for Apple using the N3B node.

According to China Times, TSMC is currently producing 60,000-70,000 wafers per month for 3nm chips, and this number should rise to 100,000 per month by the end of next year. Other companies like Qualcomm and MediaTek are expected to sign up for the N3E second-generation 3nm node. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 and the Dimensity 9400 APs are both expected to be produced next year using N3E. It is estimated that 3nm production could account for 10% of TSMC’s revenue in 2024, double the 5% it accounted for this year.

It is also expected that in 2023, the A17 Pro and M3 chips should generate $3.1 billion in revenue for TSMC. Apple is investing heavily in 3nm technology, with reports indicating that the cost for Apple to tape out the 3nm M3, M3 Pro, and M3 Max chipsets was $1 billion. This makes it evident that Qualcomm and MediaTek allowed Apple to have the first use of 3nm due to these high costs.

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