The reversal card that will surpass TSMC is… The reason why Samsung Electronics smiles even when the gap widens Kyung-ju Kang IT Cafe

Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong inspects the construction site of the 3rd factory in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi-do, in January this year / Photo = Provided by Samsung Electronics

Samsung Electronics ranked second in the global foundry (semiconductor consignment production) market(75,600 -0.26%)The gap in market share between Taiwanese TSMC and No. 1 Taiwanese TSMC was found to have widened. Samsung Electronics is planning to turn around with technology by first introducing the 3 nanometer process, which is about six months faster than TSMC from next year.

TSMC and Samsung Electronics widen the foundry market share gap to 36%

According to TrendForce, a Taiwanese market research firm, on the 4th, the top 10 companies that account for 97% of the global foundry market’s sales in the third quarter of this year increased by 11.8% from the previous quarter to $27.277 billion (about 32.165 trillion won). did. Worldwide foundry sales have set a new record for the ninth consecutive quarter since the third quarter of 2019.

TrendForce said, “The number of untact (non-face-to-face) specials has decreased due to the rise in the rate of vaccination against COVID-19 (coronavirus infection), but the number of foundry orders has increased due to the arrival of the smartphone peak season. The sales price also increased, breaking the record for the highest quarterly sales.”

3Q foundry sales [자료=트렌드포스]

3Q foundry sales [자료=트렌드포스]

By company, TSMC has further increased its market dominance due to the launch of new iPhone series models. TSMC’s third-quarter revenue was $14.884 billion (about 17.6 trillion won), up 11.9% from the previous quarter. The market share was also 53.1%, an increase of 0.2 percentage points compared to the second quarter (52.9%).

TSMC’s combined sales share of 7-nano and 5-nano nodes, the leading processes, has already exceeded 50%, and its sales are increasing thanks to continued demand for smartphone chips and high-performance computing (HPC) chips.

Samsung Electronics, which recently decided to invest in the second foundry in the US, also jumped in sales to $4.81 billion (about 5.7 trillion won), up 11.0% from the previous quarter. Demand for foundries such as mobile system-on-chip (SoC) and display driver IC (DDI) increased due to the launch of new smartphone models in the second half of the year. explained. However, its share in the overall market was 17.1%, down from 17.3% in the previous quarter.

As a result, the market share gap between TSMC and Samsung Electronics, the first and second largest players in the market, widened from 35.6% in the second quarter to 36.0% in the third quarter. Taiwan’s UMC ranked third with a market share of 7.3%, followed by US Global Foundries with 6.1% and China’s SMIC with 5%.

The real competition starts now

Samsung Electronics Pyeongtaek Campus [사진=삼성전자 제공]

Samsung Electronics Pyeongtaek Campus [사진=삼성전자 제공]

Although the market share gap between TSMC and Samsung Electronics has widened, some say that the full-fledged competition is just beginning. Earlier, on the 24th of last month, Samsung Electronics confirmed that it would invest $17 billion (about 20 trillion won) in Taylor, Texas, to build a foundry factory.

As Samsung Electronics’ foundry production bases, which are connected by Hwaseong, Pyeongtaek, and Austin and Taylor, are positioned as two major axes, it is evaluated that Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong’s ‘System Semiconductor Vision 2030’, which aims to become the global No. . Japan’s Nihon Keizai Shimbun also reported that “Samsung Electronics is closely following Taiwan’s TSMC, the No.

Various interpretations exist regarding the background of the final investment decision as soon as Vice Chairman Lee visited the United States while investment in the United States was sluggish. The industry agreed that Samsung Electronics must have felt a sense of crisis that TSMC should no longer lose its lead in system semiconductors.

Vice Chairman Lee directly announced ‘System Semiconductor Vision 2030’ in April 2019 and said, “After memory, we will definitely take the first place in the system semiconductor field, including the foundry. ” has been emphasized.

In May of last year, when it was decided to build the ‘Pyeongtaek extreme ultraviolet (EUV) foundry line’ in Gyeonggi-do, I urged the DS division executives to “not stop investing for the future in difficult times.”

In June of the same year, Vice Chairman Lee, who visited the semiconductor research center held at the Hwaseong plant in Gyeonggi-do, emphasized, “It is a severe crisis situation. Survival depends on how quickly we can make future technology our own. There is no time.” Then, a month later, he visited the Onyang plant in South Chungcheong Province and ordered constant innovation, saying, “We must preempt the post-corona future.

Samsung Electronics to show advanced technology than TSMC from next year
Samsung Electronics engineers walk between semiconductor lines at the Hwaseong plant. [사진=삼성전자 제공]

Samsung Electronics engineers walk between semiconductor lines at the Hwaseong plant. [사진=삼성전자 제공]

As ordered by Vice Chairman Lee, Samsung Electronics has always followed TSMC in the foundry. However, from next year, the will to lead with technology is strong. According to the technology roadmaps by companies that have been released so far, Samsung Electronics is planning to introduce the 3-nanometer process in the first half of next year, about six months earlier than TSMC. In fact, it is expected to secure technological prowess ahead of TSMC for the first time.

At the ‘Samsung Foundry Forum 2021’ held in October, Samsung Electronics announced that it would triple its foundry capacity by 2025 and 3.2 times by 2026 compared to 2017, the first year of its foundry division. It also announced a blueprint to increase the number of foundry customers from about 100 this year to more than 300 by 2025.

Currently, there is a big difference in market share between TSMC and Samsung Electronics, but the gap between TSMC and Samsung Electronics is reduced to about 6 to 4 in the process of 10 nm or less, which is called the tip-end process. In fact, it means that the 10-nano-sub-market is flowing in a two-way system. According to IC Insights, a global market research firm, the share of the 10-nano sub-market will surge from 4.4% in 2019 to 29.9% in 2024, when the new US factories of both companies start mass production, increasing the possibility of narrowing the gap with TSMC.

TSMC logo [사진=AFP 연합뉴스]

TSMC logo [사진=AFP 연합뉴스]

An industry official said, “The recent foundry market share is a sparkling result of the solidification of the cooperative relationship between Apple and TSMC.

“The demand for related hardware and infrastructure such as 5G, 6G, Wi-Fi, Internet of Things (IoT), and automotive semiconductors is expected to increase further in the future,” he said. It is highly likely that there will be more opportunities. It is in the same vein that Vice Chairman Lee recently met various personalities on a business trip to the United States,” he added.

Reporter Kang Kyung-joo,


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