The company is signalling that it intends to outspend foundry competitors Samsung and Intel to remain the unassailable leader in the manufacturing of leading-edge chips. The company spent about US$14.1 billion on capex in 2019 and US$21.1 billion in 2020.

The company gave the capex figure as it announced a net income of NT$166.23 billion (about $6.0 billion) on sales of NT$438.19 billion (about $15.85 billion) in the fourth quarter. Year-over-year 4Q21 revenue increased 21.2 percent. In US dollars, fourth quarter revenue was $15.74 billion, which increased 24.1 percent year-over-year.

TSMC’s success was driven by shipments of chips made with its 7nm and 5nm leading-edge manufacturing processes. In the fourth quarter, shipments of 5-nanometer accounted for 23 percent of total wafer revenue; 7-nanometer accounted for 27 percent. The company is expected to start shipping 3nm chips late in 2022 or early in 2023.

“Moving into first quarter 2022, we expect our business to be supported by HPC-related demand, continued recovery in the automotive segment, and a milder smartphone seasonality than in recent years,” said Wendell Huang, CFO of TSMC, in a statement.

The 1Q22 revenue is expected to be between US$16.6 billion and US$17.2 billion.

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