TSMC has benefited from a close partnership with ARM over the past decade; however, Intel's alliance with ARM could change things.
"TSMC could face tough competition as soon as 2018 or 2019 as Intel is likely to gain orders from Apple by then," Samuel Wang, a veteran semiconductor analyst at Gartner, told the Nikkei Asian Review. "Intel has begun to engage with Apple and it aims to grab one or two top-tier customers from TSMC."
Intel has stumbled in the past when trying to grow its foundry business, prioritizing production of PC and server chips for its own use. However, Intel now sees its foundry business a key source of new revenue.
A senior Taiwanese chip industry executive says that "Intel is definitely the most formidable challenger for TSMC."
"There is no rivalry between Apple and Intel so it's really likely that Apple could shift some orders there. The move is also in line with Washington's policy to encourage U.S. companies to make more products at home," the source said.
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