They don’t, and won’t, run good times for hardware. Price increases for various reasons now come with the runaway inflation that we experience in general, which wafer makers know first hand, so they will pass the increases on to chip designers. Therefore, and now, the largest manufacturer of wafers warns: from January of 2023 prices will almost increase 9% for the fries.
The technological race launched by the big three in the sector seems set to end badly, very badly, mainly because users and companies are not prepared to loosen their pockets and pay the price of gold for products that are not basic necessities and in the midst of an economic crisis that will, presumably, come at just the worst time: 2023. Why aren’t they slamming on the brakes and lowering prices in small steps?
The problem of prices and innovation
Creating cutting-edge technology that pushes the boundaries is fine, as long as you can sell it. The margin is currently in favor of TSMC, where it looks like reports they will be presenting shortly for the end of the second quarter suggest that they could overtake Intel in sales for the first time.
So with this perspective that all is well, why stop? Taiwanese are going to be number 1, Intel is going to be number 2 soon, Asia is dominating the world, the West is going to be expendable and no one is looking at the situation of the users, they are only looking up, when the question kit is broken-down.
This is why when TSMC stated that most lithographic nodes will increase between 6% and 9% they don’t seem to know clearly that these costs are not affordable for the rest of the industry, but they don’t seem to care. And it is that in three years we are talking about a total increase of 31% on average basically, for advanced knots and mature knots. Is there an end to this madness?
Shorter payment terms, pressure on supply chain and designers
Anyone who wants to work with TSMC will not only have to pay more to get their tokens, but they will also have to shorten the payment period. This measure is done to fund the new FAB and lithographic processes because even the Taiwanese face delays and problems so they want capital tied up so the same thing that happens to Intel and its funding doesn’t happen to them. does not arrive .
In addition, a report from Professional investment institution indicates that because each lithographic node is more expensive than the previous one, TSMC could face a gross profit below 50%so if this value is threatened, the only solution you can put is to increase the price as you are doing now, months in advance.
This will logically make every chip that comes out of their factories, which are almost all, more expensive, especially CPUs and GPUs, which are usually the most complex and physically bulky. None of the companies that work with TSMC can assume the prices they comment on from TSMC, so expect us to see another increased cost of processors, graphics cards, mobile phones and other secondary chips in 2023.