Huawei was one of Taiwanese Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC)’s biggest clients before its ban in the US. Huawei was in fact one of TSMC’s biggest clients, the second biggest after Apple.
It seemed the directive by the US government stopping all companies utilizing US technology from shipping components to Huawei was expected to affect TSMC’s revenue too but that did not turn out to be the case as the world’s largest contract semiconductor foundry eventually earned more clients during this period that the absence of Huawei is totally negligible.
TSMC is reportedly having more customers that it needs to hike production. Asian Times reported that the company is planning to deploy over a thousand engineers to its factory in Tainan’s Southern Taiwan Science Park in order to increase production. The report further mentions that the extra workforce is expected to lead to an increase in its 5 nm capacity from a range of 60,000 – 70,000 wafers per month to around 120,000 wafers per month.
As of now, most of TSMC’s orders are for 5 nm chips. These 5 nm chips are used on the latest flagship SoCs like that of Snapdragon 888. The 5 nm chips come with a larger transistor density and transistor count which give them more power and energy efficiency than previous chips.
It is worth mention that currently, TSMC manufactures 5 nm chips for the likes of Apple, MediaTek, AMD, and Qualcomm. TSMC supplied its last 5 nm chip to Huawei in the middle of September 2020 after which it stopped taking orders from Huawei. In simple words, the surge in 5 nm chip order indicates the loss of Huawei did not affect TSMC’s revenue at all.