TSMC needs to consolidate its plants beyond Taiwan’s borders. And you need to do it without resting on your laurels. The possibility of China invading Taiwan is on the table. The US intelligence service has been stating this for many months, and also consider this possibility Mark Liu, the CEO of TSMC. The CIA defends that the instability triggered by the invasion of Ukraine that Russia began on February 24, 2022 can be used by China to invade Taiwan in the coming years.
“We would all lose. No one would win. We Taiwanese have chosen to be governed by a democratic system. We want to choose our way of life, and we believe that chip manufacturing is a key sector in Taiwan’s economy. Still, if China “If the invasion were to take place, semiconductors would not be our main concern. What would be is the fact that this event would destroy the world order,” said Mark Liu during the interview he gave to the US network CNN last year.
These words from this TSMC executive describe the consequences that China’s invasion of Taiwan would have. The most serious problem would be its inevitable human cost, which would possibly be difficult to assume. But, as Liu asserts, the geostrategic impact To have an event like this across the entire planet would be colossal. And, furthermore, there is no doubt that the semiconductor industry would receive a setback from which it would be difficult to recover. A setback for which this gigantic Taiwanese company is already preparing.
From the problems in the US to the common work culture with Japan
The meeting held last week by Joe Biden and Xi Jinping in San Francisco (USA) has not calmed things down in the slightest regarding the current status of Taiwan. In this matter, the positions held by both countries continue to be antagonistic. The president of China maintains that unification with Taiwan will take place in the future, although he has also specified that his intention is not to approach this process by force. In fact, he has not missed the opportunity to ask Joe Biden that the US stop supplying weapons to the island.
Regarding the current status of Taiwan, the positions of the US and China continue to be antagonistic.
In any case, at this juncture for TSMC the most prudent strategy is none other than to expand and set up some of its next cutting-edge lithography nodes. beyond the borders of their homeland. The 10 billion euro plant that will presumably be housed in the state of Saxony (Germany) will play an important role in the future, and the factory it is already equipping in Arizona (USA) will also be crucial. However, TSMC is not doing as it had anticipated in the country led by Joe Biden.
Those responsible for the state-of-the-art plant being developed in Arizona are having a hard time finding the qualified personnel they need. So much so, in fact, that the sources who have given visibility to this information assure that frustration has taken over. And it seems to have done so because this personnel deficit has caused TSMC to be forced to delay the start of production of mature chips at this plant by one year, dating this moment to 2025.
Meanwhile in Japan everything is going smoothly. It is currently building an $8.6 billion semiconductor plant on the island of Kyushu, and if everything stays on track, it will be ready to manufacture mature integrated circuits in 2024. According to SCMP, TSMC executives highly value how much they have in common Taiwan and Japan. Their work culture is similarand, in addition, the Japanese state has a very competitive network of lithography equipment manufacturers.
TSMC is building an $8.6 billion plant on the Japanese island of Kyushu and plans to commission two more
At the beginning of September, Lucy Chen, an analyst at the consulting firm Isaiah Research, assured that the relationship between TSMC executives and the Japanese Government is very good, which has led Mark Liu, the CEO of the Taiwanese company, to be considering the possibility of building a second state-of-the-art plant in Japan. However, this is not all. And just a few hours ago Bloomberg announced that TSMC’s management leadership is considering the option of developing a third plant with 3 nm nodes that will cost $20 billion.
The negotiations being carried out by TSMC executives and the Japanese Administration seem to be going swimmingly. And if this information is finally confirmed, and the sources we have used are very reliable, it will be evident that this Taiwanese company prefers to expand in Japan than doing it in the US or Europe. As I mentioned a few lines above, the idiosyncrasies of Taiwan and Japan and the very similar work culture of these two countries represent an asset that the decision-makers at TSMC seem unwilling to overlook.
Cover image: TSMC
More information: Bloomberg
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