Gap between Samsung Foundry and TSMC expected to narrow

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Samsung is fiercely trying to compete with foundry market leader TSMC over the past few years. The South Korean firm has envisioned to become the largest foundry firm in the world by 2030, and to achieve that, it must defeat TSMC in terms of market share and technology. Currently, TSMC has more than a 50% share of the foundry market, while Samsung’s market share is 17.4%. The gap between their market share is expected to narrow in the near future.

An online conference co-hosted by the Korea Society of Automotive Engineers, Qualcomm, LG Electronics, and LG Uplus to talk about emerging future car technologies. During the conference, Kim Jae-Kyung, Vice President of Qualcomm Korea, said that the company is trying to maintain good relations with contract chipmakers Samsung and TSMC. He said that although it competes with Samsung in the semiconductor space, it is still trying to strengthen ties with Samsung Foundry.

While Samsung recently started mass producing 5nm chips, TSMC started mass production of 5nm chips for Apple a few months ago. The Qualcomm Korea top official said that the gap between Samsung and TSMC would continue to get narrower as Samsung has its own competence as a chip producer. Although TSMC has a competitive advantage over Samsung right now, the South Korean firm has its own advantages.

Samsung has been increasingly securing chip deals from giants like IBM and Nvidia. In August, IBM announced that its POWER 10 CPU will be made by Samsung. A few days ago, Nvidia mentioned during the reveal of its Ampere-based RTX 3xxx series GPUs that they are fabricated using Samsung’s 8nm process.

The Qualcomm Korea top executive also mentioned that the company expects the semiconductor business to rebound in 2021 when smartphone shipments are expected to reach pre-COVID-19 levels. He said that up to 1.8 billion smartphones are sold every year and that chips used in smartphones are the biggest profit source for chipmakers and chip designers. Qualcomm is trying to diversify its portfolio by developing chips for the automobile industry.

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