MediaTek Inc (聯發科) yesterday said it would adopt next-generation 3-nanometer technology developed by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) for its new chips in a bid to consolidate its competitive edge.
The Hsinchu-based chip designer’s remarks came after speculation that Apple Inc might stick to 5-nanometer, rather than adopting TSMC’s 3-nanometer technology for its new iPhone series next year, due to unknown production problems.
TSMC has said that it is on track to increase production of 3-nanometer chips in the second half of next year.
Photo: Vanessa Cho, Taipei Times
MediaTek’s strategy is to enhance its competitiveness by collaborating with its major foundry partner, TSMC, a company executive said.
“We are not going to veer in a different direction... It is something we must do [to hold off the] competition,” MediaTek vice chairman and chief executive officer Rick Tsai (蔡力行) told a media briefing in Taipei.
“We have tapped 5-nanometer and 4-nanometer technologies to make our products. We think that 3-nanometer will certainly be next. We are working closely with TSMC,” Tsai said, declining to disclose a timeline.
MediaTek would further their cooperation by shifting to TSMC’s advanced chip packaging technology, dubbed chiplet, from existing 3D chip packaging technology.
Commenting on the lingering global chip shortage, Tsai said that supply next year would remain tight.
Tsai said that he does not expect to gain a clear picture of the supply-demand dynamics until 2023, when the world’s major foundries significantly ramp up new production.
For MediaTek, chip scarcity has been “manageable, but for the industry as a whole, it is a grave issue,” he said.
MediaTek last month told investors that it had a sufficient supply of chips to meet its business needs next year.
Given the company’s strong growth in 5G chips, Tsai said that MediaTek would be interested in using chips made at TSMC’s planned Kaohsiung factory.
TSMC’s board of directors approved the capacity expansion plan last week.
“The 5G market is growing beyond China next year, which will create a good opportunity for the company,” Tsai said.
MediaTek said that it expects to capture more than 35 percent of the Android-based smartphone market in North America.
The global 5G penetration rate next year is expected to exceed 50 percent, up from 30 percent this year, MediaTek added.
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