AI demand pushes TSMC revenue for 2024 up 28% so far

Taiwan's silicon supremo comfortably sails past analyst forecasts

Semiconductor colossus TSMC appears more confident that its fortunes are on the upswing after posting strong growth in Q2 revenue based on demand for advanced chips such as GPUs for AI acceleration.

The Taiwan-based silicon supremo disclosed in its latest monthly revenue report that net income for June was NT$207.87 billion (about $6.4 billion), an increase of 32.9 percent compared with a year ago.

Figures for May and April were NT$229.62 billion ($7.04 billion) and NT$236.02 billion ($7.24 billion), both up on the same period last year.

A full Q2 earnings report from the world's largest semiconductor contract manufacturer is expected later this month.

Revenue for January through June 2024 (i.e. the year so far) totaled NT$1,266.15 billion (about $38.9 billion), an increase of 28 percent compared to the same period in 2023, the company said.

TSMC is so far outdoing analyst forecasts, according to MarketWatch, as well as besting its own guidance in generating $20.7 billion in revenue for the second quarter, versus the $19.6 billion to $20.4 billion it predicted.

The growth is being attributed to demand for AI chips, such as the high-end GPUs from California-based Nvidia, for which TSMC is the sole silicon supplier.

Back in May, TSMC was anticipating revenue from datacenter AI products (mostly GPUs) to more than double, and said demand was so high that it did not expect to be able to produce enough of these chips, despite boosting the capacity of its Chip-on-Wafer-on-Substrate (CoWoS) multi-chip packaging process used for Nvidia GPUs.

It was reported that the Taiwanese chip champ briefly topped the $1 trillion valuation mark this week, although according to financial site Barron's, the company is actually worth about $825 billion based on its share price on the Taiwan Stock Exchange, with that trillion valuation coming from its American depositary receipts that trade in the US.

Analysts at JP Morgan indicated that TSMC is likely to be more confident on its overall 2024 revenue growth when it comes to that Q2 earnings report because of this and an uptick in demand from Apple thanks to higher iPhone sales.

Meanwhile, some reports indicate that TSMC is set to begin test production of chips using its 2nm process as early as next week. The company had already detailed plans to start volume production of 2nm chips in 2025, and Apple is slated to be one of the first customers in line.

TSMC also disclosed details earlier this year of a process technology called A16 that could be used to deliver the first 1.6nm chips for customers by 2026.  Discussed at the company's North America Technology Symposium in Santa Clara, the A stands for angstroms, though TSMC does not officially refer to it as a 1.6nm technology. ®

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