tsmc, chipmaking, chip

(Photo : Unsplash/ Christian Wiediger) Semiconductor chip

TSMC or the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company may not be a famous firm, but it currently has a market value of more than $500 billion. It is one of the most valuable companies worldwide.

Now, the company is leveraging its resources to bring the most advanced chip manufacturing back to the United States.

The move comes as the world deals with the ongoing chip shortage and has forced giant chipmakers to invest more than $100 billion to ramp up production.

TSMC to Build Plant in Arizona

According to CNBC, the new plant in Phoenix, Arizona, will cost TSMC $12 billion. The company will begin making 5-nanometer chips and be launched in 2024. The company wants to produce 20,000 wafers monthly.

Rick Cassidy, the chief strategy officer and president of TSMC’s project in Arizona, said that the CPUs, GPUs, and IPUs are parts that are going to be used in different places, especially smartphones.

TSMC manufactures components for almost every device. It supports smartphones, fighter jets, and it even supports NASA’s Perseverance Rover.

Earlier this month, the company announced its plans to build a new plant in Japan to produce chips using older technologies. The plant will focus on household devices and car components.

TSMC is also the exclusive provider of Apple for its advanced chips on its iPhones and Mac computers.

Joanne Itow, the managing director of manufacturing, said that TSMC remains in the background, so Apple gets all of the accolades when a new phone is released.

Cassidy added that the company is low-key, and they let their products speak for themselves. The success of Apple brings all of the business that they need.

The United States was where the advanced silicon was first manufactured, but for years now, it has been losing its market share to Asia, where 79% of the world’s chip production happened last year, according to The Wall Street Journal.

SEMI calculated that the United States was responsible for 12% of the worldwide chip manufacturing in 2020, which is a huge dip considering it manufactured 20% of the chips in 1990.

TSMC has stated that the chip shortage will last until 2022.

TSMC’s Contribution in Semiconductor Distribution

TSMC was responsible for 24% of the semiconductor output last year, which is an increase from 21% in 2019, according to the data released by the company.

TSMC is also responsible for 92% of the world’s most advanced chips used in iPhones, AI, and supercomputers. Samsung is responsible for 8% of the semiconductor output, according to Anandtech.

Christopher Rolland, the senior semiconductor analyst at Susquehanna, said that all of the manufacturing operations in 2020 are out of Taiwan.

Aside from the 5-nanometer chips and edge 3 chips, the company also manufactures larger chips that are placed on household devices like electric toothbrushes and coffeemakers. Vehicles often use less advanced 28-nanometer to 40-nanometer chips.

All types of chips have been affected by the global shortage. GM and Toyota have paused their car production at some factories. Apple is likely to cut its production targets this year for the latest iPhone 13.

Written by Sophie Webster


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