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After switching to ARM, expect Apple to buy TSMC too

Daniel Nenni

Admin
Staff member
I used to read Cringely's gossip columns in InfoWorld Magazine back in the 1980s. Excellent writer, very entertaining, and sometimes his predictions even came true. This time however I don't think so:


"When it comes to semiconductors, then, Apple has two possible moves with the first being designing its own chips. The second possible move, which should be Apple’s big announcement in 2022-23, is buying TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company) -- the outfit that actually builds those ARM chips. TSMC also happens to be the best semiconductor manufacturer on the planet right now and worth whatever Apple has to pay.

That’s my bold prediction, which seems a no-brainer to me.

Buying TSMC will give Apple something to do with its extra cash while at the same time solving a very big problem for TSMC, itself, which is what to do about Beijing wanting to grab Taiwan.

Selling to Apple will make the wealth of TSMC’s current owners both liquid and portable right when they’ll probably be looking for new places to live. And by making TSMC a part of Apple -- a U.S. company of strategic importance to Washington -- Beijing will be chastened somewhat in its corporate dominance.

What will Tim Cook do for an encore after buying TSMC? Well, Steve Jobs told me in August 2011 (his last e-mail to me) that Cook would run Apple "until Reed is ready to take over." 2023-2024 should be about right."
 

hskuo

New member
If the time turned back to 10 years ago, Apple acquired tsmc could be possible. Now the probability decreases with time. My opinion, it would be possible to have consigned tools and warranted(buyout) capacity in new fab in the near turn in US.
 

IanD

Member
One big reason TSMC are so successful in the foundry business -- and Samsung and Intel aren't -- is that they don't compete with their own customers, everyone with deep enough pockets can get access to their technology. Selling out to Apple would destroy this non-compete business stance. Mind you, if you don't want to use TSMC because they're owned by Apple, what other options are there?
 

Arthur Hanson

Active member
Very interesting view point. China is a wild card in everything right now. If they choose to try to take over Taiwan, the repercussions around the world economically and politically will be staggering and unpredictable. Such a move might even cause a world wide depression hurting everyone.
 

Daniel Nenni

Admin
Staff member
One big reason TSMC are so successful in the foundry business -- and Samsung and Intel aren't -- is that they don't compete with their own customers, everyone with deep enough pockets can get access to their technology. Selling out to Apple would destroy this non-compete business stance. Mind you, if you don't want to use TSMC because they're owned by Apple, what other options are there?
Agreed, I think it would be an antitrust case waiting to happen.
 

IanD

Member
The problem for China if it took over TSMC would be twofold -- one problem would be that many customers wouldn't be able to run away from TSMC fast enough, the second is that a large part of the world would be p*ssed off with China and try to source goods from elsewhere which would hit China's export business -- never mind any sanctions which could hit their imports too, and potentially cripple TSMCs access to technology like EUV.
 
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