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Three Interesting Things from TSMC!

Three Interesting Things from TSMC!
by Daniel Nenni on 01-13-2017 at 12:00 pm

 First, the TSMC Museum of Innovation is now open and it’s quite impressive. Located right below Fab 12, it is definitely worth an hour of your time. Second, Morris Chang was on the investor call which made it much more interesting, especially his comments on the recent Report to the President on U.S. semiconductor leadership. Third, TSMC will be the first with EUV in production at 7nm.

The TSMC Museum of Innovation encompasses three exhibition galleries: “A World of Innovation”, “Unleashing Innovation”, and “Dr. Morris Chang, TSMC Founder”. Through interactive technology, digital content, and historical documents we will learn about the pervasiveness of ICs in our daily lives and about their continued advancement. In addition, we will learn how ICs are making our lives more fulfilling and how they are driving technology beyond our imagination. We will also learn how TSMC contributes to global IC innovation and to Taiwan’s economy.

Unfortunately, I was on a plane during the TSMC investor call but I did listen to the replay and read the transcript. As I predicted in my Double Digit Growth and 10nm for TSMC in 2016! blog, TSMC had a very good 2016 and I will again predict double digit revenue growth for 2017, absolutely.

In case you have not seen it yet, the REPORT TO THE PRESIDENT Ensuring Long – Term U.S. Leadership in Semiconductors was published last week so of course it came up in the TSMC call Q&A. The response came from Morris who countered and said TSMC has created thousands of jobs by authoring the pure-play foundry business model in 1987 (yes this is the 30[SUP]th[/SUP] year of TSMC and the fabless semiconductor industry). Morris also pointed out that this report was to Obama and not to Trump and shared an interesting anecdote about presidential reports:

I mean, we have history to guide us. In fact, just tell you an anecdote, in 2006 I met President Bush, then President of the United States, and at that time his, President Bush’s, task force, advisory task force on Iraq, had just submitted a report, basically recommended the U.S. withdrawing from Iraq. And President Bush did not adopt the recommendation. He actually adopted the contrary, which was to increase his troops in Iraq. So I mean that’s just an example that quickly came to my mind, when somebody talks about, ah, report has been written.

One thing you should know about Morris is that he is a very well read military history enthusiast and has a remarkable memory. While I’m not necessarily equating business to war there is much to be learned in regards to strategy, leadership, and human nature.

The other interesting nugget on the call is about 7nm and EUV. TSMC now has definitive plans to insert EUV into 7nm:

Mark Liu
So we think 7 nanometer is a well adopted node by all the customers and we plan for the subsequent technology to shore up the demand continuously. And we hope to use this technology – I mean the second-year technology to prepare for the EUV production experience for the full fleshed EUV technology on 5. So then our customers can have a very hopefully smooth getting to from our 7 to our 5 nanometer technology. So that is the how we maintain our technology competitiveness.

Translation: TSMC will be the first to 7nm EUV production, yes?

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