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Bloomberg Podcast about tsmc

Daniel Nenni

Admin
Staff member
Two things:
  1. I feel much better about our podcasts. We are experts in the field and the 30 minute format with no commercials is much more palatable.
  2. Information is important but not spreading disinformation is even more important. TSMC does not produce more than half of the chips we consume. TSMC's market share is foundry based chips and for logic only. If you include all chips made around the world TSMC is not the "gorilla or elephant" in the room.
 

hist78

Active member
I think
Two things:
  1. I feel much better about our podcasts. We are experts in the field and the 30 minute format with no commercials is much more palatable.

  2. Information is important but not spreading disinformation is even more important. TSMC does not produce more than half of the chips we consume. TSMC's market share is foundry based chips and for logic only. If you include all chips made around the world TSMC is not the "gorilla or elephant" in the room.
I totally agree. There are several factual errors, contradictions, and omissions in that podcast. Those can mislead people to misunderstand the history and the causes that leads to today's situation.

For example, he suggested TSMC's success is partially due to TSMC is closely resemble to an American corporation and has more close relationship with American companies. The proof he said is that Morris Chang (TSMC Founder) and Mark Liu (current Chairman of TSMC) are both American citizens.

Using this strange logic, I'd like to ask are Intel, IBM's former semi division, AMD ( when it had fabs), and TI more "American"?

Another his misleading statement is that early on ROC (Taiwan) government had a deep pocket to support Taiwan's semiconductor development and consequently ensured TSMC's success. That's totally incorrect. TSMC started in 1987. At that time Taiwan's per capita GDP was about US$5,300. It's really not much. Before that, it's even much less. The government then was struggling with budget and revenue every year. It's an OK yet small economy with a poor government. Even the government's seed money designated for TSMC and the recruiting domestic funding investors were facing serious debate and resistance.

He also attributed the selection of semiconductor industry to then Taiwan government's war mentality. That's far from the true history.

The truth is during and after the oil crisis and economy downturn during the 1970s and 1980s, Taiwan recognized their main economy engine was in light industry, such as textile/clothing, toy making, Christmas lights, home and garden products, and umbrellas, etc. Those industries were unreliable and not sustainable to continuously improve Taiwan's quality of life and GDP. Semiconductor was one of the industry they chose after a careful research and debate.

If Taiwan government was in a war mentality mode, they should have picked heavy industry that can produce more guns and tanks instead of the very difficult, very long term, and cash burning semiconductors business. Let's think about North Korea :) :-(

To understand how TSMC started, I'd suggest a coversation Morris Chang did at Stanford University more than six years ago.

 
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james juang

New member
Wonderful video! These two gentlemen were having a good time when talking about Japan. Actually, Japan's IDM's were the first domino to fall, as described by Morris' 20% difference. Since then, they were living in past glories and whining about it for a good 20-years. It has never been easy to admit the defeat for something they once were dominant.

Recently, the Japanese are relearning semiconductors in fabless-foundry mode. (1) The University of Tokyo signed a shuttle program with TSMC. The brightest young have access to TSMC's most advanced PDK in their school days and learn a complete design flow. In the end, the students got a few dozen chips by their design to play with. This is about the best learning experiences an EE department can offer. In fact, through the shuttle program, they are trying to build their fabless industry from the ground up. (2) They also signed a joint development with TSMC about new materials for advanced packaging. 20 years ago, TSMC and ASML have joined forces to develop DUV and EUV. Together, they revolutionize the lithography industry. Now, this newly signed agreement has the potential to revolutionize the packaging industry, which in time will play a bigger role to push semiconductor forward. (3) The government has been in talks with TSMC about setting a fab in Japan for quite some time. AZ fab surely sent out a clear message to all governments on the earth that TSMC can be properly persuaded, and the Japanese government is taking notes.

Japan was an important part of the semiconductor pre-foundry history, and now they are joining the party at the national level. This could make the whole ecosystem even stronger.
 
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