🌊 Good morning! Choppy seas ahead for your electronics…

TSMC’s warning

Today’s bit of bad news, if true, has been a long time coming, with DigiTimes ($) reporting the biggest semiconductor wafer fabrication player, TSCM, is flagging a price hike in 2022 of up to 20%:

  • “TSMC has notified clients of an about 10% price hike for its sub-16nm process manufacturing, with the new prices set to be effective starting 2022, according to sources at IC design houses.”
  • It would be the company’s steepest single increase, and no doubt represents material price increases and supply chain squeezing of margins.
  • TSMC also confirmed a delay to its next-gen 3nm manufacturing this week.
  • TSMC doesn’t disclose its pricing, though the DigiTimes report suggests that the company seeks to bump up a 28nm wafer to “nearly $3000” starting in Jan 2022.
  • By comparison, and noting this is based on guesstimates by retired engineers, there’s also a rumor 5nm wafers are priced at something like $17,000.
  • You can try a silicon cost calculator here, though you’d have to consider it accurate-ish at best (Adapteva).


  • If accurate, and applied wholesale to all clients, that would obviously include chips like Apple’s A-series and M-series, Qualcomm, Intel, and AMD.
  • Meaning, of course, CPUs, GPUs, SoCs, and the like will cost more, reducing margins for manufacturers, and/or being passed to us, the consumers, on smartphones, iPhones, PCs, and so on.
  • It’s all down to things like shipping rates going through the roof to an 11-year high, steel prices rising, shortages — and the problem is that what would seem to be a short-term problem rolls on (Bloomberg)
  • Phil Levy, the chief economist at Flexport, told The New York Times: “I’m less in that ‘transitory’ camp and more in the ‘we have reason to be concerned’ camp.”
  • Other shortage rumors include launch dates for new smartphones slipping a few weeks from planned dates.


⌚Fitbit Charge 5 guide: What you need to know about Fitbit’s new fitness tracker (Android Authority).

📶Google Pixel 6 modem won’t be from Qualcomm, which makes sense given Samsung’s behind it, but it may mean it’s more of a Samsung-derivative chip rumor suggests (Android Authority).

📳 Your smartphone might get ‘smart’ RAM soon with AI processing built-in, somehow? (Android Authority).

🤦‍♂️A decade and a half of instability: The history of Google messaging apps (Ars Technica).

🔐Google and Microsoft will invest $30 billion in cybersecurity over the next five years: “That’s $10 billion from Google, $20 billion from Microsoft and $0 billion from Apple.” (Engadget).

📦US PC market grows 17% in Q2 2021 as laptop popularity booms: ~36.8 million units were shipped in the US for Q2, according to Canalys. Apple held down second, with Mac laptop shipments up 24%, though iPads sold less. Samsung numbers up 50% (ZDNet).

🎮 The biggest trailers and announcements from Gamescom’s two hour show, including Halo, Horizon Forbidden West, and Death Stranding. (The Verge).

👉Microsoft’s Panos Panay now directly advises CEO Satya Nadella: now an Executive Vice President (The Verge).

💻Gateway 14.1-inch Ultra Slim Notebook (2021) review: Legen-dairy budget laptop returns, though only to Walmart (CNET).

🎶 Kanye’s Donda Stem player is here: you can remix-it-yourself gadget (Engadget).

🤸‍♂️ Pokémon Go changes gym, pokéstop distances after fan uproar (Kotaku).

◀The OnlyFans Porn Ban has been reversed, but good luck reassuring creators (Wired).

🚢 The first crewless electric cargo ship begins its maiden voyage this year (Engadget).

🧱 A crane system that lifts up blocks to create gravity-based renewable energy storage at grid-scale has received $100M in funding (pv magazine).

🛫Dawn Aerospace conducts five flights of its suborbital spaceplane (TechCrunch).

🧊 The sinking of the Titanic (r/gifs).

Throwback Thursday

It’s been 30 years since a 21-year-old Linus Torvalds sent a message to newsgroup comp.os.minix, starting the creation of Linux.

Here’s someone’s autographed printout:


Here’s hoping at least one of these emails you receive is considered even 0.01% as important in 30 years 😉

Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor.