Samsung wafer prices are going up: higher GPU and smartphone prices incoming?
Samsung wafer prices are going up, in a bid to cover some of the costs of expanding their S5 Line. This foundry produces the latest chips on the cutting edge 5nm and 4nm nodes, so I guess Samsung is expecting bigger orders from their customers on their latest nodes soon.
Aside from producing their in-house Samsung Exynos chipsets, Samsung is also manufacturing chips for NVIDIA and Qualcomm. The latest NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 series graphics and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 chipsets are made on Samsung’s 8nm and 5nm nodes, respectively.
As you might expect, the costs resulting from the increased Samsung wafer prices that chipmakers will be looking at will most probably be transferred to the end user, so we might see more expensive GPUs and smartphones in the near future. However most chipmakers sign agreements to procure their chips at a certain fixed price, so we might not see an immediate price hike just yet.
While a price hike during these difficult times might not be what you want to hear, but I guess an expansion of Samsung’s facilities will avoid further shortages in the future. It is worth mentioning that Samsung isn’t the only one jacking up prices. TSMC has reportedly looked at raising prices by up to 25% to cope with the demand they are facing.
Samsung’s foundry business enjoys a 17% market share, to TSMC’s 55%. If Samsung is able to churn out more chips, and offer them at competitive prices, we might see more chipmakers go with Samsung’s fabs instead of TSMC. Samsung’s process nodes do seem to be inferior to TSMC’s, but if the price is right, I am sure chipmakers will find a way around it.
Pokdepinion: We couldn’t have expected Samsung to want to settle for lower profit margins when TSMC is just raking it in, right?