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Are Stretched Resources Limiting TSM's Growth

Arthur Hanson

Well-known member
TSM has become a 460 billion behemoth that dominates the semi industry both as a producer and buyer of talent and equipment. Has their ability to increase the rate of expansion become limited by the ability to increase their resources in equipment, labor and finances or by the growth rate of the total addressable market? I feel this is why they have not become dominant in MEMS, which Morris Chang considered one of the largest future opportunities. Any comments or observations solicited and welcome.

Daniel Nenni

Staff member

TSMC goes where customers take them and MEMs doesn't seem to be a customer destination right now. That may change but today AI, 5G and HPC are the big semiconductor drivers. Big die on leading edge silicon. Remember, there is no 2nd and 3rd sourcing with TSMC FinFETs and custom packaging. MEMs you can get a dozen different places.



MEMS is tricky technology typically developed by system or so call IDM houses. tsmc is dedicated foundry who plans to provide so-call "technology platform" to serve customers. As we might find that there are not many fabless MEMS companies even till now. The reason behind is there are interest conflicts between these parties. Foundry MEMS platform will lower competition barrier for existed MEMS companies which intends to keep know-hows . As I heard from CEOs of specialty technology IDM, they would like to have mediocre foundries who just followed their process flow without brain and with reasonable price. The barrier is still there and inflection not come yet.

Arthur Hanson

Well-known member
Thanks to everyone for the comments. I feel ultra complex mems will be the future when entire labs shrink down to smart phone size, lowering the costs of many functions to a small fraction of what they are today. I see very large markets for this technology, especially in wearable medical devices that not only test, but regulate. I also see complex mems involved in injectable surgery and many other areas to be limited only by the imagination and the economics involved. The mems revolution when it comes will have as much impact as the computational revolution and this is why Morris Chang felt mems are the next great opportunity and I feel Morris is in the best position to know of anyone. This will require new ecosystems from design automation to final production. Any other thoughts on this or additions appreciated. This is a new frontier in its very, very early stages. Micro labs and robotics will both be high value growth areas in the near future and those that dominate it will be the giants of tomorrow. It will involve constant shrink, just like semis.
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