AMD and Qualcomm could be the first companies to use Samsung's 3 nm production nodes in 2022
AMD is currently the largest TSMC customer, but it looks like things could change as the Taiwanese foundries may not be able to fulfill all of Team Red’s orders in the future, especially now that TSMC is overwhelmed with pre-orders from so many clients. According to DigiTimes, AMD, as well as Qualcomm could soon become the first companies to use Samsung Foundry’s 3 nm production nodes.
Sources close to DigiTimes claim that TSMC’s relationship with Apple has dissatisfied both AMD and Qualcomm, and the two companies are already planning to collaborate with Samsung in 2022. Thanks to its multi-annual contract with TSMC, Apple essentially has priority for the upcoming 3 nm and even 2 nm nodes. Moreover, the ongoing chip shortages significantly slow down TSMCs output, and with so many clients depending on the Taiwanese foundries, it is easy to understand why AMD and Qualcomm would want to explore alternative production channels.
Another solid reason for AMD and Qualcomm to make the jump to Samsung’s foundries is the technology behind the upcoming 3 nm nodes. Samsung is set to be the first to adopt the more efficient GAAFET (gate-all-around) transistors for its 3 nm nodes expected to become operational in 1H22, while TSMC is still planning to use FinFET tech for its 3 nm nodes. If Samsung can indeed prove that its 3 nm nodes provide satisfactory yields, AMD and Qualcomm could start a partnership with the South Korean giant, but also keep relying on TSMC, as well.