Apple and Qualcomm reportedly tried to struck an investment deal with TSMC to secure exclusive access to smartphone chips, but were rebuffed as the foundry doesn't require cash for investments and prefers to keep full control of its plants.
Both proposals were reportedly to the tune of over $1 billion to let TSMC set aside production dedicated to making chips exclusively for them, as chip shortages are starting to limit earnings.
As a supplier to Qualcomm, Broadcom Corp. (BRCM), Nvidia Corp. (NVDA) and other companies that no longer operate their own factories, TSMC wants to keep the flexibility to switch its production between customers and products. TSMC Chairman Morris Chang told investors last month that he was willing to devote one or even two factories to a single customer.
"Currently we believe we still can fund it," Chief Financial Officer Lora Ho said in an interview on July 19.
TSMC wants to retain control of its plants, doesn't want to sell part of itself and doesn't need cash for investments, Ho said in the interview.