TSMC 3nm supply is tight: NVIDIA, Qualcomm, AMD consider raising AI chip prices

AMD, Apple, Google, Intel, MediaTek, NVIDIA, and Qualcomm are all fighting (hard, and expensive) for TSMC's 3nm production capacity.

3 minutes & 24 seconds read time

TSMC is absolutely dominating, and we all know it. The big AI chip players are eating up its 3nm production into 2026, and now upstream IC design companies are reporting price increases.

TSMC 3nm supply is tight: NVIDIA, Qualcomm, AMD consider raising AI chip prices 53

NVIDIA, AMD, Intel, Qualcomm, MediaTek, Apple, and Google are all working on getting chips made on TSMC's new 3nm process. Ctee reports that Qualcomm's new Snapdragon 8 Gen4 processor is made on TSMC's new N3E process, and its quotation has increased by 25% compared to the previous generation, which Ctee reports "does not rule out subsequent price increases."

Another issue is that semiconductor competitor Samsung led the mass production of 3nm chips using the GAA (Gate All Around) process on June 22, but the first-gen N3 node "SF3E" was not successful at all. The yield rates of Samsung's in-house Exynos 2500 chips dropped, and Google Tensor processors are all made by Samsung. The current fourth-generation Tensor SoC uses Samsung's new 4nm process, but the rumored fifth-generation Tensor chip will switch to TSMC's new 3nm process.

We're going to see a flood of AI chips released this year: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen4, MediaTek's new Dimensity 9400, and Apple's new A18 and M4 series chips will all be build using TSMC's new N3 family. Qualcomm's new Snapdragon 8 Gen4 chip has "taken the l read in taking the first shot at a price increase," reports Ctee.

Qualcomm's last-gen Snapdragon 8 Gen3 processor was priced at around $200 for the chip itself, but the new Snapdragon 8 Gen4 processor could cost over $250, which would firstly, make new flagship smartphones more expensive, and two, see competitors following with their own chip price increases.

But... we're talking about some of the most advanced technology on the planet, and if TSMC is the only company that the technology companies can go to to get their chips made, this is the price they'll have to pay.

TSMC has a huge 3nm family process, with N3, N3E, N3P as well as N3X, N3A, and more. Existing N3 technology continues to get upgraded, with N3E being mass-produced in Q4 2023, targeting applications like AI accelerators and AI GPUs, high-end smartphone chips, and data centers.

TSMC's new N3P process will enter mass production in the second half of this year, which will enter mainstream applications, including smartphones, consumer products, base stations, and network communication devices in 2026. N3X and N3A nodes are customized for high-speed computing and automotive customers.

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NEWS SOURCE:ctee.com.tw

Anthony joined the TweakTown team in 2010 and has since reviewed 100s of graphics cards. Anthony is a long time PC enthusiast with a passion of hate for games built around consoles. FPS gaming since the pre-Quake days, where you were insulted if you used a mouse to aim, he has been addicted to gaming and hardware ever since. Working in IT retail for 10 years gave him great experience with custom-built PCs. His addiction to GPU tech is unwavering and has recently taken a keen interest in artificial intelligence (AI) hardware.

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