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Thread: TSMC Threat to Intel in Everything but Memory

  1. #11
    Expert hist78's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fred Chen View Post
    TSMC dropped out of the bidding contest for Toshiba's NAND Flash. Customers probably find it cheaper to get high-density memory from current suppliers rather than ask TSMC to make it.
    TSMC dropped out the bidding competition doesn't mean they dropped out the game. Be a bidder in the first round of process can provide them a lot of Toshiba's confidential information that later can be very useful for them in deciding some kind of partnership with Hon Hai, Apple, Amazon (from news today), and Western Digital.

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  2. #12
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    Fred, anytime a company is working a new breakthrough technology such as 3dXpoint, they are going to loose money and sometimes a lot of it. It won't be until production is ramped up and the bugs worked out that they will make serious money and sometimes if things don't quite work out, loose serious money. From what I have read and little has been released, I think they are in the process of getting yields up.

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  3. #13
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    TSMC, Intel and Samsung are now so big their growth is not much different than global growth. This is one headwind TSMC faces--they can just kill it at about everything, and still face the prospects of slow global growth. I think it makes it hard to analyze the situation objectively, because they are certainly killing it, today, but could still be in real trouble soon, as the economic cycle ages and eventually turns down. They are so tied to broader economic factors.

    This is true of all manufacturing--very leveraged on the upside, very leveraged on the downside. Things are good today, so I won't fault TSMC. In 5 years, these are some structural problems that will undoubtedly tug their balloon back to earth:

    1) No one but Apple and Samsung makes money in smartphones. Eventually, this is going to cause a serious crash.
    2) It is getting more and more unreasonable to manufacture logic devices, in the quantities that customers need, in the timeframes needed, with the yields needed. Today, those 3 things can be mostly all accommodated, but in 5 years, I think customers will be forced to pick one or two of the 3.
    3) How do you avoid a peak-smartphone plateau, and fall-off? What fills the void?

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  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by benb View Post
    TSMC, Intel and Samsung are now so big their growth is not much different than global growth. This is one headwind TSMC faces--they can just kill it at about everything, and still face the prospects of slow global growth. I think it makes it hard to analyze the situation objectively, because they are certainly killing it, today, but could still be in real trouble soon, as the economic cycle ages and eventually turns down. They are so tied to broader economic factors.

    This is true of all manufacturing--very leveraged on the upside, very leveraged on the downside. Things are good today, so I won't fault TSMC. In 5 years, these are some structural problems that will undoubtedly tug their balloon back to earth:

    1) No one but Apple and Samsung makes money in smartphones. Eventually, this is going to cause a serious crash.
    2) It is getting more and more unreasonable to manufacture logic devices, in the quantities that customers need, in the timeframes needed, with the yields needed. Today, those 3 things can be mostly all accommodated, but in 5 years, I think customers will be forced to pick one or two of the 3.
    3) How do you avoid a peak-smartphone plateau, and fall-off? What fills the void?

    There are some additional considerations I'd like to suggest:

    1. Smartphones need to be replaced every several years, depending on the quality and usage of the phone, country, income, technologies advancement, and carriers' requirement. It's not like a flat screen TV can sit there and being used for ten years. We can have a group of people sharing a TV or a PC system. But we can't have a group of people share a smartphone. So the annual smartphone growth will slow down but it might not have significant drop of total volume.

    2. Each smartphone will continuously built with more semiconductor content due to the technology improvement and new features. It will create more demand on the semi industry.

    3. Beyond smartphones, what will be the driving force on the semi industry for the manufacturing capacity and technology? AI, automobiles, IoT, High Performance Computing, automation, or healthcare and medical? If one or two of them create new demand on the semi, the volume and value will be big, or even bigger than the smartphones have achieved.

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  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by benb View Post
    3) How do you avoid a peak-smartphone plateau, and fall-off? What fills the void?
    The void will be filled by compute required to support tomorrows future blockchain applications. There will be blockchains for almost every type of transaction imaginable, and they will require a significant amount of compute.

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  6. #16
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    benb, TSM, Samsung and others are in a market that's not only expanding, but rapidly getting broader as these are the companies that have the best hold on nanotechnology, which is just in it's infancy. Transportation, MEMs, Solar, Display, Permeable actively controlled barriers (think active filters, desalinization, chemical separation, batteries, super capacitors, etc.. These companies have a very long and broad expansion path.

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  7. #17
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    Fred, you may be right for it seems INTEL may be having serious development problems with its 3dXpoint technology as indicated by being behind stated delivery dates. If this become a serious problem, Intel my be in real trouble.

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  8. #18
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    Now it looks like even the memory part of Intel might have problems with 3dXpoint. This is something Intel/Micron could easily clear up, whether they have hit just a speed bump or a major stumbling block.

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