Apple chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) has hit a new record for the third calendar quarter of the year. TSMC’s revenue beat previous guidance it gave in July.
The world’s largest contract chipmaker reported consolidated revenues of $3.3 billion for the month of September 2019. That’s down slightly from its record high in August. But it’s up 21.6% on quarter and 12.6% from one year earlier.
Market watchers are expecting fourth quarter earnings for the chipmaker to be another sequential increase. That would mean record-breaking revenue growth for 2019 as a whole.
August revenues were driven by “robust 7nm chip demand.” The Apple A12 Bionic chip used in the 2018 iPhone XS, XS Max and XR was the first smartphone chip to be made using the 7nm process. This year’s A13 chip also uses a version of the 7nm process.
Chipmaker revenue set to increase
TSMC is now gearing up to carry out volume production of its next-gen chips in early 2020, to be made with the 5-nanometer process. Apple is the most likely customer. Decreasing the number of nanometers in chip design means being able to pack more transistors onto a chip by reducing the size between each one.
Not everything is smooth sailing, however. TSMC is in a legal battle with chipmaker rival GlobalFoundries in the U.S., Germany, and Singapore. TSMC says that GlobalFoundries infringed on 25 of its patents. It is seeking “substantial monetary damages.”
TSMC’s record earnings are good news for suppliers. Despite the global smartphone market slowing, it shows that there’s still plenty of money to be made. Even with all the current trade tensions in the world.