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In brief: Nvidia, AMD, and Apple are all reportedly cutting their wafer orders from TSMC as people put less priority on buying the latest electronic goods in light of rising global inflation. In the case of team green, it is also dealing with an excess of RTX 3000-series stock and more ex-mining cards hitting the market, making its upcoming RTX 4000 series a less-enticing prospect.
The reassessment comes as we leave behind the pandemic era that saw a boom in consumer electronic sales as people worked and played at home. The world is also dealing with an economic downturn caused by rising inflation and the Russia/Ukraine war. Global PC sales have already slowed, and fewer people are rushing to buy the latest smartphones and TVs.
Some highlights of the report include a claim that iPhone 14 mass production has already started, but the initial shipment target of 90 million has been cut by 10%; the A16 SoC in the iPhone 14 will reportedly stick with TSMC's 5nm process node.
AMD, meanwhile, is said to have reduced its 7/6nm wafers orders by around 20,000 in total for the fourth quarter and Q1 2023. It is noted, however, that orders for 5nm wafers for its PC and server hardware have not been affected.
Nvidia has already made pre-payments to secure 5nm capacity from TSMC. The company is expected to return to the Taiwanese giant for its RTX 4000 series after defecting to Samsung for consumer Ampere—it already uses TSMC for its 5nm Hopper data-center architecture. But with a glut of current-gen cards that it's trying to get rid of, miners selling their GPUs as crypto crashes, and rising inflation, Nvidia is facing lower demand and wants to cut 5nm orders.
It seems TSMC is unsympathetic to Nvidia's plight and is offering no concessions. The best it can do is delay shipments by one quarter or to Q1 2023, which would mean Nvidia finding replacement customers for TSMC's vacated production capacity.