Meanwhile, the market research firm reckons, the foundry rivals who, as the spend longer on mainstream nodes are seeing their price per wafer eroded.
Many IC companies are now designing high-performance microprocessors, application processors, and other advanced logic devices based on 10nm and 7nm process technology. The leading-edge processors in the leading-edge processes can charge a premium price and sustain a higher cost per wafer. But in 2019 TSMC was the only pure-play foundry manufacturing ICs in 7nm process and, not surprisingly, the only one to increases its revenue-per-wafer.
Foundry revenue per wafer. Source: IC Insights.
IC Insights reckons that TSMC’s revenue-per-wafer in 2019 was at about $1,500, up 13 percent from its value in 2014. TSMC needs to charge more for wafers to sustain the higher development and manufacturing costs to get to, and beyond, 7nm, such as the use of extreme ultraviolet lithography.
Globalfoundries rpw is falling slowly towards $1,000 following its decision to not pursue 7nm manufacturing process technology (see GloFo rethinks its future, drops 7nm FinFET). And United Microelectronics Corp. and Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. are also seeing declining rpw dropping to off to $650 but at the same time these companies enjoy lower development costs.
The 2019 revenue per wafer figures at GlobalFoundries, UMC, and SMIC—whose smallest process node is 12/14nm—were down by 2, 14, and 19 percent respectively, compared with 2014.
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