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The Alliance among Apple, TSMC, and Amkor May Pose Challenges to Samsung’s Advanced Packaging Strategy

As reported earlier, the global provider of outsourced semiconductor packaging and test services, Amkor, has been set to establish its presence in Arizona, USA, providing advanced packaging services for Apple chips manufactured by TSMC.

According to reports from South Korean media, the alliance formed among Apple, TSMC, and Amkor may pose a significant challenge to the South Korean semiconductor giant, Samsung Electronics, potentially creating competition for contracts and drawing close attention from the industry.

Amkor released a statement on November 30, announcing the establishment of the new facility in Peoria, northwest of Phoenix, Arizona. The construction is expected to commence in the second half of 2024, focusing primarily on advanced packaging requirements for high-end chips related to IoT, automotive electronics, 5G, artificial intelligence (AI), and high-performance computing (HPC). The facility has already secured orders from major players, with Apple being its first and largest customer.

Coincidentally, TSMC is also in the process of constructing an advanced process semiconductor wafer facility in Phoenix.

TrendForce’s research has indicated that the current maximum capacity plan for TSMC’s Arizona plant is around 50,000, with 20-30,000 allocated for 4nm and 3nm each. It is anticipated that the expansion to this scale will only occur after 2027. This capacity is expected to cater to a limited number of domestic customers in the United States who require fully American-made semiconductor products.

Business Korea’s report also suggests that the alliance formed among Apple, TSMC, and Amkor may impact Samsung. Samsung’s second wafer facility in the U.S., located in Taylor City, Texas, is anticipated to start production in the second half of 2024, setting the stage for potential chip procurement battles with TSMC.

Speculations have arisen about Samsung possibly establishing a testing and packaging facility in Taylor City, following the strategy of strengthening vertical integration to enhance competitiveness and gain an advantage in chip procurement.

In November of this year, Samsung unveiled a new strategy called “GDP,” focusing on Gate-All-Around (GAA) transistor technology, DRAM, and 3.5D advanced packaging. The company has pledged to achieve a goal where more than half of its wafer foundry revenue comes from AI chip orders within five years.

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