Apollo 11, which successfully landed on the moon in 1969, was powered by tens of thousands of transistors weighing 32 kg. The MacBook weighs less than 2 kg and contains 16 billion transistors. In modern times, semiconductors are used in all kinds of home appliances such as smartphones, laptops, automobiles, and refrigerators. TSMC is a company in charge of manufacturing semiconductors designed by major global companies such as Apple, Intel, AMD, Qualcomm, and Nvidia.
Since TSMC manufactures semiconductors, that is, internal components of electronic devices, it may be a company unfamiliar to consumers. As a result, TSMC was a low-profile company for its size, but the opportunity is surging due to the global semiconductor shortage in 2020.
In the automobile industry, which has been most affected by the shortage of semiconductors, it is estimated that total production has decreased by 3.9 million units per year if many companies are taking measures to cut production and close factories. Regarding this situation, TSMC Chairman Mark Liu says that there is no way that semiconductors will be given priority over other industries as the automobile industry is not the only customer.
The shortage of semiconductors is also a factor in Taiwan’s mainland, where TSMC has emerged as a global semiconductor production base, swept away by severe water shortages, but Chairman Liu said that it was also caused by companies hoarding semiconductors. As the lead time from order to delivery of semiconductors is increasing, it is known that the number of semiconductors shipped out is greater than the number of semiconductors used in products in a study conducted. Based on these findings, TSMC is taking measures to suspend shipments of semiconductors, even for valued customers, unless it is deemed urgent.
What is heating up due to this shortage of semiconductors is the government’s investment in the semiconductor manufacturing industry. The Biden administration announced a plan to invest $50 billion over five years in domestic semiconductor manufacturing, and to respond, Intel started construction of the Arizona 2 plant, which also invested $20 billion. The European Commission is also in the process of revising the law with the goal of achieving a 20% share in semiconductor production by 2030. The Korean government is investing $450 billion by 2030, while the Chinese government has also implemented large-scale investment and preferential tax treatment such as halving the tax rate for three years. are doing
There are opinions that TSMC has more advantages in this situation. Only TSMC and Samsung Electronics have achieved the 5nm manufacturing process in the world. Among them, TSMC is planning to mass-produce 3nm manufacturing process in 2022, and is in a state of sole proprietorship of 2nm manufacturing process production as well.
TSMC was born in the form of fabless as a result of establishing a strategy of entrusting semiconductor manufacturing. Of course, failures are prominent in China, such as large-scale fraudulent companies that go bankrupt with 20 trillion won in debt. Since China aims to produce its own semiconductors as a global factory, the cross-strait relationship, which is worsening due to remarks on the Taiwanese independence war, is also affecting semiconductors. Although the Biden administration promises to support Taiwan in case of emergency, TSMC not only accounts for 65% of its total sales, but also imports $350 billion of semiconductors from China annually. Liu said the threat of aggression by Beijing is exaggerated, saying that Taiwan never engages in actions that could cause war, and that the Taiwan issue is effectively a relationship between the United States and China. This is not the first time he has said that he opposes war from his point of view, and he expressed the same sentiment in May. Related information can be found here.