What is the current status of 'TSMC', which holds the hegemony of the semiconductor industry?

by Lee Ki Kasumi

The Apollo 11, which succeeded in landing on the moon for the first time in human history in 1969, was driven by tens of thousands of transistors with a total weight of about 32 kg, but the modern MacBook is 16 billion with a total weight of just under 2 kg. As many as a transistor is incorporated. TIME, the world's first news magazine, explains 'Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSMC)', which holds the supremacy of the semiconductor industry, which continues to grow in importance with the rise of the IT industry, focusing on an interview with TSMC Chairman Liu Tokuon. I am.

Inside the World's Largest Semiconductor Chip Manufacturer | Time

Today, semiconductors are used in all kinds of home appliances such as smartphones, notebook PCs, automobiles, and refrigerators. TSMC is a company that undertakes the manufacture of semiconductors designed by all manufacturers in the world such as Apple, Intel, AMD, Qualcomm, Nvidia, etc., and its market capitalization is about 550 billion dollars (about 61 trillion yen). It is a huge company that ranks 11th in the world market capitalization ranking.

TSMC manufactures semiconductors, or internal parts of electronic devices, making it an unfamiliar company to consumers. For these reasons, TSMC was said to be 'less popular than its scale,' but with the global semiconductor shortage that occurred in 2020, there are increasing opportunities to be reported.

In the automobile industry, which is said to have been most affected by the shortage of semiconductors, many manufacturers have taken measures to reduce production and shut down factories, and it is estimated that total production has decreased by 3.9 million units in one year. TSMC has taken a big push from the automobile industry in response to this situation, but TSMC Chairman Liu Tokuon said, 'The automobile industry is a customer of my customers, so we give priority to other industries in the automobile industry. It's impossible not to turn a semiconductor into a car. '

The semiconductor shortage is partly due to the serious water shortage in mainland Taiwan, which has become the world's semiconductor production base due to TSMC, but Chairman Liu says, 'It is also caused by companies that stock up on semiconductors.' According to a survey conducted while the lead time from semiconductor ordering to delivery continued to increase, it was found that the number of semiconductors shipped was larger than the number of semiconductors used in the product. 'There is no doubt that someone is storing semiconductors somewhere in the supply chain,' he explained. Based on these findings, TSMC has taken steps to forgo semiconductor shipments if it is determined that there is no urgent need for even important customers, and Chairman Liu said, 'What is best for the industry?' I have to do it. '

“Government investment in the semiconductor manufacturing industry” is heating up due to this shortage of semiconductors. The Biden administration has announced plans to invest 50 billion dollars (about 5.5 trillion yen) in the domestic semiconductor manufacturing industry in five years, and in response to this, Intel is also 20 billion dollars (about 2.16 trillion yen) ) the two plants of Arizona who cast the start of construction . The European Commission is also developing legislation with the aim of achieving a 20% share of semiconductor production by 2030, and the South Korean government will invest a total of 450 billion dollars (about 49 trillion yen) by 2030, and the Chinese government will also make a large investment. We are implementing tax incentives such as large-scale investment and halving the tax rate for three years.

China Aiming to Increase Semiconductor Self-Sufficiency Rate (2) Aiming to Overcome Difficulties in Integrated Circuit Core Technology with Tax Incentives | Regional / Analysis Report --Overseas Business Information --JETRO

Regarding this situation, TIME is in the tone that 'TSMC still has an advantage.' Only two companies in the world have achieved the 5nm process, TSMC and Samsung, but among them, TSMC plans to mass-produce the 3nm process by the end of 2022, and also considers the production of the 2nm process. It is in a state of running alone, and as of April 2021, it has also announced that it will 'invest 100 billion dollars (about 11 trillion yen) in three years.'

TSMC's next-generation 5nm process & 3nm process is scheduled to start mass production in 2022, and 2nm process is also under research and development --GIGAZINE

TIME explained that as a result of TSMC's strategy of undertaking semiconductor manufacturing in the red, a business format called 'fabless ' was born, and American semiconductor manufacturing industries such as Intel and GlobalFoundries are at least two generations behind. In China, he touched on the huge fraudulent company Wuhan Hongshin Semiconductor, which went bankrupt before the operation while holding a debt of over 2 trillion yen, and argued that 'failures are conspicuous.'

What is the reality of huge fraud when a Chinese semiconductor manufacturer goes bankrupt before operations while holding a debt of over 2 trillion yen? --GIGAZINE

China is aiming to produce semiconductors in-house as a factory in the world, and it is said that semiconductors are also affecting the China-Taiwan relations, which are steadily deteriorating due to the Chinese side's remarks such as 'Taiwan independence is in war'. The Byden administration has pledged to support Taiwan in the event of an emergency, but TSMC not only accounts for 65% of total sales in the United States, but China also imports $ 350 billion (about 39 trillion yen) of semiconductors annually. Therefore, President Liu told TIME, 'The threat of invasion by Beijing is exaggerated.' 'Taiwan will never take any action that would cause war.' 'Taiwan issue is practically the relationship between the United States and China. '.

This is not the first time that Chairman Liu has said that he will oppose the war from his own standpoint, and he has expressed the same intention in May 2021.

'The world needs Taiwan's high tech, no war', Liu Tokuon, Chairman of tsmc --News --Rti Taiwan International Broadcasting

in Hardware, Posted by log1k_iy