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Inside Samsung's $116bn plan to overtake chip rivals

Daniel Nenni

Staff member
This is the most interesting section for me:

Will companies trust Samsung?

Samsung executives, underscoring attempts to address the trust issue, point to further efforts in the past two years, including new legal compliance protections and firewalls to protect clients’ intellectual property. Industry watchers question whether Samsung has allayed concerns. “Trust takes years to build. It is more than a piece of paper,” said Mark Li, an analyst at Bernstein in Hong Kong. And for some of Samsung’s chief rivals, TSMC’s position as a purely independent chipmaker has appeal, analysts said. Elizabeth Sun, TSMC’s director of corporate communications, said the company is “very well aware of the competition coming from Samsung”. But the Taiwan group is bullish, saying the Korean company would never be a foundry chipmaker such as TSMC. “We would never compete with our customers,” Ms Sun said. “What we do [is] we collaborate with customers . . . Samsung competes with everyone. That doesn’t mean they will never get any foundry customers . . . But will they rely on Samsung the way they rely on TSMC?”

Inside Samsung’s $116bn plan to overtake chip rivals

TSMC has been hammering away at the "Most Trusted Foundry" branding for some time now. The added complexity today is the political/trade wars that are popping up. My guess is that the top fabless companies will multi source now more than ever. GlobalFoundries may even get an extra share as a result. Thoughts?


Randy Smith

I wonder how much trust by competitors was an issue for Intel Foundry customers? I think IP vendors got past it, but I am not sure if companies in the mobile electronics market really did. Am I forgetting something? Seems to me TSMC has done best at avoiding litigation. But not all legal issues become public.

Arthur Hanson

Active member
Trust must be built into the very structure of an organization for people have flaws and always will. The structure of Samsung has greater opportunity for breaking trust than the structure of TSM as Steve Jobs found out. No system is perfect, but some structures are better than others and as long as Samsung builds products and TSM doesn't, TSM where has an inherent advantage to keeping secrets far more economically than Samsung and this is another matter that gives TSM an edge not only in keeping confidentiality, but cost wise. To close this gap would be almost impossible, unless Samsung set up a fully isolated division that would drive up cost and severely dilute its ability to maintain a leading edge facilities.

The best relationships in any human endeavor are when both parties self interests are truly aligned and mutual and TSM is a rare company that has truly come as close to this as possible. I only wish more of society, government and business could be so aligned. This is an example that should be studied and copied by others for the benefits this type of relationship can bring to all parties and the world.
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