TSMC is urgently seeking equipment suppliers from whom it can buy CoWoS (Chip on Wafer on Substrate) machines, as Nvidia, AMD, and Amazon expand orders for AI chips, local media outlet Economic Daily News exclusively reported on Monday. TSMC has increased its equipment orders for CoWoS by 30% to meet growing AI-fueled demand, the report claimed.
Details: CoWoS is a high-density advanced packaging technology developed by TSMC for high-performance chips. The current shortage of CoWoS packaging capacity has become the main bottleneck in the production chain for AI chip orders.
- Nvidia is TSMC’s largest customer of CoWoS advanced packaging, accounting for 60% of the production capacity, according to the report. Recently, in response to the strong demand for AI computing, Nvidia has increased its orders from TSMC, while AMD, Amazon, and Broadcom have also been placing urgent orders.
- Due to its shortage of CoWoS machines, TSMC has sought the assistance of local equipment suppliers including Scientech Corporation, AllRing-Tech, Grand Process Technology, E&R Engineering Corporation, and Group Up Industrial. TSMC has increased its original equipment orders by up to 30%, with delivery expected in the first half of 2024. Mass production will commence in the second half of 2024.
- Currently, TSMC’s monthly capacity of CoWoS advanced packaging is approximately 12,000 units, sources familiar with the matter told Economic Daily News. To accommodate the proposed production expansion, the monthly capacity of CoWoS will be increased to between 25,000 and 30,000 units.
- Major customers such as Nvidia and AMD have increased their orders of TSMC wafers in the third quarter, boosting TSMC’s 7nm and 5nm advanced process capacity utilization.
- Pressure on CoWoS production capacity is expected to ease after next summer, TSMC’s president C. C. Wei stated during a recent earnings call. The Economic Daily News report revealed that TSMC has been expanding its facilities at plants including Zhuke, Zhongke, Nanke, and Longtan, so as to increase CoWoS production capacity.
Context: On September 24, Chinese media outlet IThome reported that Qualcomm’s next generation Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 may have been manufactured using TSMC’s N3E process technology, as indicated by leaked documents from Qualcomm.