At its online investor conference, TSMC estimated that its 5nm process would account for 20% of its revenue, and the 4nm node, also in the 5nm family, would enter volume production in 2022. The demand for these advanced nodes, according to TSMC, would be driven by HPC and smartphones. Overall, TSMC estimated that automotive electronics, IoT, HPC and smartphones would drive the demand for its 7nm and 5nm nodes in the current quarter.
When it comes to microcontroller units (MCUs), TSMC indicated that its capacity has increased 30% compared to the Q1 of 2020. In total, the company predicted that its production capacity for MCUs would increase by 60% in 2021, signalling a relief to the severe chip shortage that has been facing the automotive industry. 60%-70% of the world’s automotive microcontrollers to TSMC, based on the fab-lite approach of the automotive industry’s IDM suppliers.
Despite the relief, TSMC still ruled out a complete end of the chip shortage crisis when asked if the scheduled capacity increases of IDMs would threaten the orders to TSMC: since TSMC is still responsible for a portion of the world’s demand for 55nm, 40nm and 28nm processes, the chip maker reckoned that the shortage would persist into 2022.