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A Look at Semiconductor Supply Chains (TSMC)

Daniel Nenni

Staff member
The semiconductor supply chain involves many different steps and procedures that are all needed to keep it functioning and efficient. The semiconductor supply chain starts with System Companies, travels through EMS, IC Design, IC Manufacturing, IC Assembly & Test, End Consumers, and circles back to System Companies. For supply chain management, the four principles are code compliance, risk assessment, audit participation, and continuous improvement. To make the semiconductor supply chain sustainable, companies need to focus on environmental processes, social practices, and the economy. In order to create a sustainable future, supply chains should work to improve the manufacturing process and quality, reduce the environmental impact, and protect labor rights. Take time to learn about semiconductor supply chains so you are informed of their impact on the technological industry.

TSMC Supply Chain Infograhpic 2020.png
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Daniel Nenni

Staff member
Be honest, it looks like summer-intern report. No real insight for industry.
Yes, it is a high level look at a very complex topic, but I think it is a good conversation piece. Here is more feedback:

(1) IC Design box in the Supply Chain wheel

In the grey "IC Design" box, I'd remove the "packaging and final assembly test" bullet, since that's really covered in the green box.

If this were a bit of a lower-level presentation, I'd add a couple of additional elements to the "Supply Chain for Semiconductors" wheel:
- wafer thinning, abd bumping/bonding services
- qualification and reliability analysis services
- failure analysis services

The last two deserve mention -- they are a pretty critical part of the supply chain.

(2) The "Four Principles"

Somehow, I'd illustrate in this graphic that the End Customer is also an integral part of these four principles. For example, the product engineering team at the End Customer is closely tied into the "Continuous Improvement" team at the electronics manufacturer.

Once a part has been qualified and is in production, the customer PE team will review any significant process and/or materials changes, to assess whether the cost of re-qualification and reliability re-assessment is required.

(3) the "Social" wheel

Although there is a "abide by ethics" point on the wheel, I'd be explicit and add "Corporate Governance".

Pretty much every supplier these days will be assessed by the customer's Finance team on their governance score.

(4) the "Economy" wheel

For sure, I'd add "IT Security" to this wheel. Again, the customer will no doubt want to audit the manufacturer's IT security policies, to ensure that proprietary data will be secure.

Again, for a high-level chart, this is great, although I might encourage TSMC to consider adding a similar chart for the case of the supply chain when the final product involves heterogeneous packaging. In this case, there are a multitude of additional supply chain considerations: sourcing of known good die (KGD) chiplets and high bandwidth memory (HBM) stacks; compatibility of package assembly process with the die materials (e.g., thermal limits that must be observed during assembly); final assembly test strategies (e.g., chiplet "wrap test".