TSMC increases thanks to Apple profits by one third

The single-handedly at the 20-nm manufacturing pays off at TSMC: The contract manufacturer makes with smartphone chips two thirds of its turnover, as well as the profit was higher than 2014th

The contract manufacturer TSMC, the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, has its financial results for the second quarter of 2015 published (PDF). Compared to last year, sales rose by almost ten percent from 6.08 to 6.66 billion US dollars and the profit by almost one third from 1.98 to 2.58 billion US dollars. In the first quarter of 2015, TSMC had a turnover of 7.04 and a profit of 2.51 billion US dollars.

More exciting than the bare figures is, as so often the breakdown: The contract manufacturer uses 62 percent of its sales in the Communications division to, more than ever before. In this division fall any smartphone and tablet chips, including the A8 and A8X SoCs for the iPhone 6, the iPhone 6 Plus and the iPad Air 2. More orders came from Qualcomm, as the Snapdragon 810 Snapdragon 808 and Modems like the X12 LTE. Also a well-known customer is Nvidia. The Tegra X1 for the automotive segment also runs in TSMC from tape.

All enumerated chip manufactures the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company in the planar 20-nm process, which offers neither Global Foundries still Samsung. The chips produced in this process make up 20 percent of TSMC’s sales. Only the older 28nm process for graphics cards and processors involved with 27 percent more sales.

The profits made put the TSMC in recent months in the development of an improved 16-nm FinFET process, known internally 16ff +. One of the first known tape-outs include Xilinx ‘Zynq Ultra Scale Plus. The chips combine ARM cores with programmable circuits (FPGA). According to TSMC CEO Mark Liu, the 16-nm FinFET serial production has started.

The 10-nm FinFET process should start as before the end of 2016. TSMC promises compared to 16ff + a 15 percent higher speed with the same power or less to 35 percent of energy needs at the same speed. The packing density of transistors to be improved by a factor of 2.2. The 7-nm FinFET fabrication want the TSMC start in the first quarter 2017 – similar to Intel.