Based on a report by TrendForce, Intel has yet again had to push back its upcoming Meteor Lake CPUs and it now appears that Intel will only be launching Meteor Lake towards the end of 2023. It’s unclear why there has been yet another delay, but Intel is said to have cancelled orders with TSMC for the 3 nm tGPU that Intel will have made at TSMC. The knock-on effect of this, is that TSMC is said to be slowing down its production line expansion towards 3 nm, as the company is now unsure if it’ll be able to fill its order books for all of 2023. TSMC’s main customer for the 3 nm node is still going to be Apple, but with the loss of what is likely to be around six months worth of production from Intel, TSMC is said to be considering cutting its CapEx for 2023.
TSMC’s other customers, such as AMD, MediaTek and Qualcomm aren’t planning on moving to 3 nm until 2024, so unless there’s a change in plans from either of these companies, or increased demand from Apple, TSMC is said to hit the breaks when it comes to starting up new, cutting edge production lines next year. TSMC is also likely to see reduced revenues during 2023 due to Intel’s change of plans, although it’s too early to make any assumptions. TrendForce also suggests that Intel might still use TSMC’s 3 nm node as a backup plan, if Intel would fail to execute on moving to the Intel 4 process, but considering how complex it is to move a design between different foundry processes, this seems unlikely.
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