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Taiwan, Fulcrum of the World, Staggering Danger

Arthur Hanson

Well-known member
Taiwan has become the fulcrum of the world with TSM the foundation of its ecosystem. With advanced semis literally becoming key to everything, having so much of the world's key technical power that would be extremely difficult, if not impossible to duplicate in a timely manner, has put the world in a very precarious position in more ways than we can imagine. With no way to substitute so many parts or so many key products, both progress and expansion could come to a fast, screeching halt world wide with horrible repercussions in more ways than we can even imagine. Never has so much technical power been so key and concentrated in such a small area. I don't have to go into detail, for the danger is so great in so many areas, with massive repercussions that this should be dealt with right now for at best this will be a long, very complegx process. The danger is so great for the world as a whole, every organization, company, country and educational organization should be involved in seeking a solution. Just one example of instant disaster would be Taiwan being nuked. The world wide ramifications of this would be so monumental it would boggle the imagination, even if extremely remote. The time for action is yesterday. Any thoughts or solutions solicited and welcome.
 

Arthur Hanson

Well-known member
The stock market is showing how key TSM is to the world economy this morning and by definition how key Taiwan is as a whole in many, many aspects.
 

Portland

Member
Samsung is having success as well. Corona will give Intel some life. I was looking to get a new computer and Intel is still a monopoly.

I wouldn't buy an Intel product from a tsmc fab, the architecture is too buggy.
 

hist78

Member
"Just one example of instant disaster would be Taiwan being nuked. "

By whom? CCP is crazy but not stupid. If CCP sends a nuclear bomb to Taiwan, all those dangerous radioactive particles will arrive Chinese mainland in one day and continue for many years to come. Those mainland area that will be impacted by the radioactive particles (such as Shanghai, Fujian, Guangdong, etc.) are critical to PRC themselves in terms of population, economy, transportation, and security.

Don't worry.
 

Arthur Hanson

Well-known member
"Just one example of instant disaster would be Taiwan being nuked. "

By whom? CCP is crazy but not stupid. If CCP sends a nuclear bomb to Taiwan, all those dangerous radioactive particles will arrive Chinese mainland in one day and continue for many years to come. Those mainland area that will be impacted by the radioactive particles (such as Shanghai, Fujian, Guangdong, etc.) are critical to PRC themselves in terms of population, economy, transportation, and security.

Don't worry.
Neutron bomb, very limited radiation and limited destruction
 

Arthur Hanson

Well-known member
SMIC has stolen TSMC technology before as determined in courts in Alameda and Santa Clara county in California and Chinese companies in general don't let the law stand in the way of using others technology.
 

Fred Chen

Moderator
SMIC has stolen TSMC technology before as determined in courts in Alameda and Santa Clara county in California and Chinese companies in general don't let the law stand in the way of using others technology.
Yes, there was this settlement: http://www.smics.com/en/site/news_read/4334

Several years later, 14nm development was carried out by SMIC with the collaboration of Huawei, IMEC and Qualcomm. http://www.smics.com/en/site/news_read/4530

Samsung's 14nm similarly came under fire as being stolen from TSMC: https://www.extremetech.com/extreme...heft-give-samsung-its-14nm-manufacturing-lead

The logic density of TSMC's 7nm vs 16nm is 3.2X while for SMIC's "N+1" vs 14 nm is 2.7X which means SMIC could be within 10% of TSMC in 7nm design rules. So it would be interesting to check. But even with comparable design rules, the performance of SMIC's chips could be worse. So the benchmark would again be interesting.
 

Portland

Member
This would be the best thead for this tangent but in the era of pandemics it might be smart to have a foundry in the southern hemisphere, australia, New zealand, south Africa ....
 

SunnyLining

New member
Decades ago, people predicted a dark future in which something like 1 to 5 massive foundries made all the world's chips, and our response was to do little to nothing about it. Now we live in that dark future, so it's our own fault, really.

The only bright spot I can see is, assuming scaling starts tapering off, the equipment will start to become old hat and the cost will come down. With lower barriers to entry, maybe other nation states or foundry businesses will finally be able to start catching up. Then, our only problem will be the end of scaling.
 

Godfree Roberts

New member
There are at least two feasible non-nuclear alternatives to the status quo:
  1. China's 24x7, trillion-dollar, 50,000 PhD chip shot holes out in two years, in which case we're fucked and Taiwan (where wages are lower than the nearest mainland province) asks to rejoin the mainland which, according to Taiwan's constitution, it never left.
  2. China misses its chip shot so they take over Taiwan in two years in which case we're fucked because 80% of Taiwanese trust Mr. Xi more than they trust Ms Tsai (which they do) and 90% of Taiwan's officers have been offered promotions in the PLA (which they have).

  3. In either case, we're fucked.
 

kloty

New member
Taiwan is too important for world economy to become a playball between US and China. UNO must declare Taiwan as a special place for the whole humanity and protect it with blue helmets
 

Godfree Roberts

New member
Taiwan is part of China, according to both countries' constitutions and the United Nations. It–and the world–will be safer with Mother China.
 

kingmouf

Member
I do not want to offend anyone, but I think you are becoming too war hungry and confrontation maniacs that you are missing far more peaceful alarming facts.... In my view the problem with having a practical monopoly in semi manufacturing is actually the... monopoly! How will the vibrant ecosystem of fabless companies prosper if TSMC for any possible reason jacks up the price by say... 2x? What will happen if a few key players come and overtake all the capacity leaving no room to anyone else? What will happen if for any reason a fab fails (e.g. we have seen a power outage can have dramatic impact or do you remember what happened in the HDD business when there were those flouds? ) There is a reason why monopolies are bad and regulatory authorities all over the world try to balance such actions.
 

kloty

New member
I do not want to offend anyone, but I think you are becoming too war hungry and confrontation maniacs that you are missing far more peaceful alarming facts.... In my view the problem with having a practical monopoly in semi manufacturing is actually the... monopoly! How will the vibrant ecosystem of fabless companies prosper if TSMC for any possible reason jacks up the price by say... 2x? What will happen if a few key players come and overtake all the capacity leaving no room to anyone else? What will happen if for any reason a fab fails (e.g. we have seen a power outage can have dramatic impact or do you remember what happened in the HDD business when there were those flouds? ) There is a reason why monopolies are bad and regulatory authorities all over the world try to balance such actions.
This is all true, but the problem is that there is probably not enough space for a competitor, who could afford to build yet another 3nm foundry and is still able to offer manufactured chips at competitive prices. There is also not enough know how worldwide available to create a competitor. One solution would be to split TSMC into several fabs, which will not remove the geopolitical risks, since all TSMC fabs are in Taiwan.
 

kingmouf

Member
This is all true, but the problem is that there is probably not enough space for a competitor, who could afford to build yet another 3nm foundry and is still able to offer manufactured chips at competitive prices. There is also not enough know how worldwide available to create a competitor. One solution would be to split TSMC into several fabs, which will not remove the geopolitical risks, since all TSMC fabs are in Taiwan.
I am wondering about the existence of world wide talent/know how. What has happened to the research people at IBM? I believe that they are still operating or have they been absorbed by GF and the whole research team eroded? What happened to the alliance between IBM/Samsung and at some point GF that they co-developed processes and worked on R&D? Is this dead? Other research / R&D sites (e.g. IMEC) that have historically worked on these things, are they still going strong or are they also retreating (it was my understanding that IMEC has helped SMIC develop their 14nm tech or I am completely wrong about this? )? How is GF doing? They said that they were not going to move in pursuit to being a leading-edge fab but with the current geopolitical pressures and an Intel that stays behind making the whole leading-edge manufacturing node less of a pressure, are they going to offer competitive processes at least one or two nodes behind or they completely moved to specialized processes? Sorry for all those questions!! :)
 
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