NVIDIA, AMD, & Intel Prepped For High Wafer Cost As TSMC's 3nm Crosses $20,000 US Price
The report states that due to its dominance in the chip manufacturing field and no competition yet in the 3nm process segment, TSMC is going to raise the prices of its 3nm wafers significantly. TSMC wafer pricing is depicted in a chart that shows the jump from 7nm ($10,000 US) to 5nm ($16,000) wafers to be around 60%. Now with 3nm, TSMC's wafer costs are expected to surpass the $20,000 US figure which would mean that we are bound to get more expensive products in the form of next generation CPUs and GPUs.
Currently, AMD and NVIDIA are some of the prime customers of TSMC alongside Apple and others. NVIDIA has definitely bumped up the prices of their cards per segment. The RTX 4090 costs 10-15% more than the RTX 3090 and the RTX 4080 costs over 50% higher than the RTX 3080. NVIDIA's CEO was also reported to visit Taiwan to talk with TSMC's CEO about securing 3nm wafers early on for their next-gen GPU lineup.
AMD has been able to offset the price by mixing and matching different nodes on its chiplet products. The Ryzen, Radeon, and EPYC lineup utilize both 5nm and 6nm technologies and chiplets to help cut-down overall costs associated with monolithic dies. Moving forward, Intel is also going to leverage TSMC N5 and N3 process nodes for its Meteor Lake and Arrow Lake tGPU IPs.
However, this dominance situation will also allow the price of each generation of wafer foundries to rise sharply without any resistance. It is understood that 3nm has already exceeded 20,000 US dollars. With the sharp increase in production costs, the chip industry is bound to pass it on to downstream customers and consumers, and the price of new terminal products will no longer go back.
[...] NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang said bluntly that despite the limited performance improvement, the increase in new products is reasonable, because the price of 12-inch foundry wafers has increased significantly compared with the past, not just a little more expensive.
But this dependency on TSMC means that the semiconductor manufacturing company will remain in a dominant position and can justify the higher prices for its technological edge over others. Rival Samsung had also stated that they were going to begin mass production of their own 3nm (GAP) node by 2024 however things aren't looking great as the yields are less than 20% & there are many issues with Samsung's next-gen node at the moment. All of this means is that chip prices are going to continue to go higher in terms of costs and unless there's another competitor on the same level as TSMC, we can't expect this trend to break.
Intel has said that it's one of their goals to have chip makers such as NVIDIA and AMD have their products made at their upcoming fabs and we will see how that goes.