Samsung’s chip foundry business grew the fastest, becoming a strong rival to TSMC

TrendForce Industry Research Institute, a subsidiary of market research agency TrendForce, predicts that in the fourth quarter, Samsung’s chip foundry business has the fastest growth in the top ten, and its market share has grown rapidly. It is constantly consolidating its position as the world’s second largest chip foundry. , become a strong competitor of TSMC.

The Top Research Institute expects Samsung’s chip foundry business to grow by 19.3% year-on-year in the fourth quarter, while the growth rate of chip foundry leader TSMC is only 8.6%. Of course, in terms of market share, TSMC is still far ahead. Its share of the chip foundry market is still as high as 52.7%, while Samsung’s market share is only 17.8%. TSMC’s king status is still unshakable.

The rapid growth of Samsung’s chip foundry business comes from the development of its own chip business and the support of orders from Qualcomm, a major customer. Samsung is the world’s largest mobile phone company. It is constantly increasing the proportion of its own chips. It has developed high-end and mid-range mobile phone chips. These chips are widely used in its own mobile phones and have become the largest chip foundry business. driving force. Samsung’s first 5G mobile phone SOC chip, Exynos980, was adopted by vivo. This is the first time that its own chip has been adopted by one of the top four mobile phone companies in China, which has also become a major driving force for its chip foundry business.

Another driving force for Samsung’s chip foundry business comes from its big customer Qualcomm. Qualcomm was TSMC’s largest customer for a long time, but in 2014, TSMC gave priority to Apple, which caused Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 810 to have a heating problem. largest client. The mid-range chip Snapdragon 765 released by Qualcomm recently was handed over to Samsung to manufacture. The huge volume will become the biggest driving force for Samsung’s chip foundry business in the fourth quarter.

Compared with Samsung, TSMC is actually favored by more chip companies. At present, Apple, Huawei, AMD, MediaTek and other world-renowned chip companies are its customers. Huawei launched the world’s first commercial 5G mobile phone SOC chip Kirin 990 5G chip It is produced by TSMC’s most advanced 7nm EUV process, and Qualcomm also handed over its high-end chip Snapdragon 865 to TSMC for foundry, but due to TSMC’s large revenue base, the growth rate is lower than that of Samsung.

The unfavorable factors for TSMC are also its own internal problems. Its founder Zhang Zhongmou has retired in 2017. When Zhang Zhongmou retired, he left TSMC with a dual-head system. In the past two years, TSMC’s frequent problems are considered to be the main reason for the dual-head system. , has become the source of its suspected infighting, which has affected the confidence of some chip customers. Apple did not use TSMC’s most advanced 7nm EUV process this year, but adopted last year’s 7nm process. Maybe it’s more or less worried that the 7nm EUV process won’t be launched as scheduled.

GLOBALFOUNDRIES, which ranked third, and UMC, which ranked fourth, have both announced that they will stop developing 7nm and more advanced processes, but the performance of the two companies is very different. GF’s major shareholder, the UAE, seems to have been impatient with GF after years of investment. The weakening of the support from major shareholders has put it at a disadvantage in the market competition. Topology Industry Research Institute predicts that the company’s growth rate in the fourth quarter is only 0. .1%; UMC is quite optimistic. It is expected that it will benefit from the development of the chip market in mainland China and is expected to achieve a growth of 15.1%, becoming the top ten growth rate after Samsung.

SMIC, the largest chip foundry company in mainland China, is highly valued by the industry. The company has successfully mass-produced the 14nm FinFET process. It has received support from the Integrated Circuit Industry Fund and is continuously increasing its efforts to develop a more advanced 7nm process. After UMC stops developing the 7nm process, SMIC will be the leader of the second camp in terms of chip manufacturing process. At the same time, relying on mainland China, the world’s largest market, its development potential is very large.

Samsung has designated the chip foundry business as a strategic business for development. It is continuously investing heavily in research and development of advanced technology and has become a direct competitor of TSMC. If TSMC’s dual-head system problem is not resolved, it is likely to become a fetter for its development, which is not conducive to the future. The company competes with Samsung; of course, for Samsung, it also has a disadvantage, that is, it competes with many chip companies, which is why it is difficult for it to win more customers.

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