During a January 13 earnings conference call, TSMC CEO CC Wei stated, “We expect 2022 to be another great growth year for TSMC.” In 2021, TSMC’s revenue increased by 24.9 percent to US$56.82 billion.
According to Wei, the whole semiconductor market (excluding memory) is expected to increase by 9% in 2022, while the foundry category is expected to grow by roughly 20%. “We are sure that TSMC will outperform the foundry revenue growth in 2022, growing in the mid-to-high 20% in US dollar terms.”
According to Wei, TSMC also raised its revenue CAGR forecast for the next several years to 15-20 percent in US dollar terms, up from the prior aim of around 15 percent. The growth is fuelled by robust chip demand for smartphones, HPC, IoT, and automotive applications.
According to Wei, revenue growth this year will be driven by sales from TSMC’s advanced and specialty technology platforms. According to Wei, HPC-related chips will be a major driver of TSMC’s long-term growth.
To deal with ever-increasing manufacturing costs, TSMC will continue to work closely with its suppliers and partners, according to Wei. “We believe we can achieve a long-term gross margin of 53 percent or greater,” Wei said.
In terms of leading-edge and specialty process manufacturing capacity planning, TSMC collaborates closely with its customers. TSMC has set a record capital budget of US$40-44 billion for this year, with 70-80 percent of that going toward advanced technologies like 2nm, 3nm, 5nm, and 7nm process nodes.
According to Wei, TSMC’s N5 is in its third year of the ramp, with demand for smartphone and HPC applications remaining strong. The N5 process family has also been expanded to encompass N4P and N4X technologies, according to TSMC.
With an 11 percent performance jump, a 22 percent increase in power efficiency, and a 6 percent increase in density, N4P outperforms earlier N5 technology. According to Wei, the first chip designs based on N4P are scheduled to be completed in the second half of 2022.
We stated, “TSMC is on schedule to shift N4X to risk production in the first half of 2023.” N4X was created with workload-intensive HPC applications in mind.
According to Wei, TSMC’s N3 process would be ready for production in the second half of 2022. N3E was also launched by the foundry, with volume production beginning in the second half of 2023. According to Wei, both the N5 and N3 process families will be substantial and long-lasting nodes for TSMC.
TSMC CFO Wendell Huang also revealed that the foundry has received prepayments from clients looking for capacity help. During the results calls Q&A session, Huang noted, “Such pledges or prepayments will enhance our financial position and assist manage our capital risk incapacity.” According to Huang, TSMC received a total of US$6.7 billion in prepayments from customers at the end of last year.