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TSMC: Financial Times

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发表于 4-1-2021 11:36:43 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
(1) Laura He, Taiwan's TSMC Is Pouring $100 Billion [in Three Years] into Chipmaking to Prevent Another Shortage. CNN, Apr 1, 2021.


(2) Kathrin Hille, TSMC: How a Yaiwanese Chipmaker Became a Linchpin of the Global Economy. Financial Times, Mar 24, 2021.
https://www.ft.com/content/05206915-fd73-4a3a-92a5-6760ce965bd9

Quote:

(a) "When Li Ta-sen 李大森 was a little boy, he used to walk to school through fields of sugarcane taller than himself. Some 40 years later, he is making a living by selling off the same fields as a property boom takes hold in his hometown of Shanhua.

"The reason for the construction frenzy in the once shabby rural town in southern Taiwan is simple: the arrival of the world's most advanced chip factory.

"Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, the largest contract chipmaker in the world, is building a plant to make 3 nanometre chips, semiconductors expected to be up to 70 per cent faster and more power-efficient than the most advanced in production now * * *

" 'Prices for the adjacent agricultural land tripled last year, and we had the highest transaction volume in our 10-year history,' says Li, who runs the local branch of real estate broker Century 21 * * *

"The plant, due to start mass production next year, will use process technology which so far only TSMC and South Korea's Samsung Electronics have mastered — at present, the most advanced chips are 5nm. * * *

"Measuring 160,000 square metres, the size of 22 football fields, the plant [Shanhua fab] is commensurate with TSMC itself: a hulk with a stranglehold on global semiconductor manufacturing. * * *

(b) "All of that makes TSMC possibly the most important company in the world that few people have heard of.

(c) "while it only accounts for 40 to 65 per cent of revenues in the 28-65nm category, the nodes used for producing most car chips, it has almost 90 per cent of the market of the most advanced nodes currently in production [10 to 5 nm in the Figure].

" 'Yes, the industry is incredibly dependent on TSMC, especially as you get to the bleeding edge, and it is quite risky,' says Peter Hanbury, a partner at Bain & Company in San Francisco."

(d) "The steeper the cost became for new fabrication units the more other chipmakers started to outsource, and the more TSMC's competitors in the pure-play foundry market dropped out of the race.

"This year, TSMC upped its forecast for capital investment to a whopping $25bn-28bn — potentially 63 per cent more than in 2020 and putting it ahead of both Intel and Samsung. Analysts believe that includes at least some investment in capacity the Taiwanese manufacturer needs to supply Intel. The US chipmaker is forced to outsource part of its processor production because it has struggled to master two successive process technology nodes — 10nm and 7nm — in time to make its own chips.

"Intel's stumble on the second successive generation [7 nm; see next paragraph] of manufacturing technology triggered a call from an activist investor last year for the company to abandon chip manufacturing by switching to a 'fabless' business model, as so many other chipmakers have done.

"Pat Gelsinger, Intel's new chief executive, rejects that idea. 'Confidence in 7 nanometre is increasing,' he told investors and journalists in a video message on Tuesday [Mar 24, 2021]. He said the company was increasing its engagement with TSMC and other foundries and outsourcing the manufacturing of some processors to TSMC.

"Despite Gelsinger's pledge to resurrect Intel's manufacturing prowess, the company needs TSMC at least for a transition period in order to stop losing market share for central processing units — the heart of every computer and server — to its rival AMD.

"According to two people familiar with TSMC and Intel, the US company has had a team working with TSMC for more than a year to prepare outsourced production of CPUs at the new Tainan fabrication plant.

"Mark Li, a chip industry analyst at Bernstein, estimates that Intel will outsource 20 per cent of its CPU production to TSMC in 2023, and the Taiwanese company needs to invest about $10bn in capacity for that alone.

(d) "Supply chain concerns [which is sectional heading] * * * [Not just US] Japan is also getting worried. Last month, TSMC announced it would set up a subsidiary in Japan to conduct research in new semiconductor materials. Japan dominates upstream material supplies to the semiconductor industry. 'It is unsafe if TSMC is only in Taiwan; you have to spread things out a little more,' says a Japanese government official. 'This is to counter the risk of a Taiwan war. That risk is very real.'

* * *

"If TSMC has to yield to this mounting pressure, it would put a strain on its business model. According to analysts, one key reason the company is so efficient and profitable is its concentration of manufacturing in Taiwan. 'TSMC's major sites in Taiwan are sufficiently close enough that TSMC can flexibly mobilise our engineers to support each other when necessary,' says TSMC spokeswoman Nina Kao 高孟華 [a woman]. A person close to the company estimates that production costs in the US are 8 to 10 per cent higher than in Taiwan.

"TSMC is therefore not ready to disperse its manufacturing operations across the globe. 'In the US, we committed to building a fab after the authorities made clear that they would subsidise the cost gap. In Japan, our investment is focused on an area of technology that is key to our future,' says a senior TSMC executive. * * *

" * * * European chipmakers like Infineon, NXP and ST Micro ['Europe's largest semiconductor chip maker based on revenue': en.wikipedia.org] dominate the market for auto chips and some other niches. But they have long focused their attention on chip design, not production. Several of Europe's largest chip companies retain some fabrication units, but they have avoided investing billions in new capacity and outsource a lot of production to foundries such as TSMC instead. Europe's chip capacity therefore lags several generations of process technology behind industry leaders like TSMC and Samsung.

" 'We are at 22nm now. Going from 22 to 2nm is like jumping to the top of the Taipei 101 skyscraper — if you fail, you crash,' says a senior executive at a European chip company. 'In addition, our need for cutting-edge capacity in Europe is really not that convincing. We specialise in semiconductors different from the chips for mass market consumer devices that dominate the US chip demand, and therefore the cost gains from cutting-edge production technology are not as crucial for us as for TSMC's American customers.'

"In the US, TSMC's commitment is also more limited than it may seem from the $12bn it has said it will invest. The new plant in Arizona is to run on 5nm, a technology which is cutting-edge now, but when it starts mass production in 2024 it will trail the 3nm facility TSMC is building in southern Taiwan.

"Moreover, one TSMC plant in the US cannot be used for everything: most of the chips used in cars can be produced with the larger 28-65nm nodes — a mature segment of the market in which TSMC is less dominant. The Taiwanese company's commitment to invest in the US is first and foremost the result of long-term efforts by the Pentagon to recreate some advanced chip manufacturing capacity in the US for a secure defence supply chain.

"The increasing concentration of semiconductor manufacturing away from US shores has had the Washington defence establishment worried for more than a decade. This is because the technology is key to weapons production, from the processors powering supercomputers that help model missile trajectories to the heat-resistant chips in missiles themselves. And the significance of semiconductors for defence will only increase with the rise of unmanned systems such as combat drones.

"Industry experts also warn that government-led efforts to reshore chip manufacturing may be unsustainable. 'I think what folks don’t realise is that this is not a one-time fix,' says Hanbury. * * *

"That is exactly the reason why TSMC grew so dominant in the first place. Its competitors, including US-based GlobalFoundries and Taiwan rival UMC gradually abandoned the ambition to compete with cutting-edge capacity because the investment required was just too big.

"Although the noise about TSMC’s dominant position has surfaced only now, the Taiwanese company’s dominance has had its customers concerned for quite some time.

" 'The fabless companies have had concerns for several years that TSMC's dominant position would give it more pricing power,' Hanbury says. He adds that those concerns grew more acute when GlobalFoundries, TSMC’s only remaining American competitor, dropped out of the race to develop leading-edge production capacity in 2018.

"And while Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC), China's largest foundry, is still pledging to press ahead, it is now hampered by the US decision last year to use export controls to bar it from receiving equipment needed for building cutting-edge chip production facilities.

"That leaves Intel. Despite its travails with advanced production technology, the company announced on Tuesday that it was setting up a dedicated foundry business, and will invest $20bn in two new fabs in Arizona.

"Some industry experts are sceptical. 'I would say this is difficult because Intel tried this before a few years ago, and they could not make it work even though they still had the best process technology at the time,' says Sebastian Hou, head of technology research at CLSA, a brokerage.


Note:
(a)  "When Li Ta-sen 李大森 was a little boy, he used to walk to school through fields of sugarcane * * * Some 40 years later, he is making a living by selling off the same fields as a property boom takes hold in his hometown of Shanhua. * * * Li, who runs the local branch of real estate broker Century 21"
(i) 善化區
https://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/善化區  
(前身 [臺南縣] 「善化鎮」; 地處曾文溪中游南側; 2010年12月25日臺南縣市合併升格為直轄市,善化鎮因而改制為「臺南市善化區」)
(ii) 經營團隊. 21世紀不動產善化南科加盟店, undated
http://065833311.century21.com.tw/AboutUS/Team
(in decreasing order that perhaps reflects rank: 店東 黃于真; 經理 黃水晶 and 楊宇宸; 店長 李大森; 主任 林麗華, 楊秋香, and 陳思源; 秘書 梁耀仁; 經紀人員: 11 other persons)

(b) "Yes, the industry is incredibly dependent on TSMC, especially as you get to the bleeding edge"

bleeding (adj):
(i) "informal British [attributive]  used for emphasis, or to express annoyance" (brackets original)
https://www.lexico.com/definition/bleeding

An attributive adjective is a prepositive adjective (which precedes the noun it modifies).
(ii) "chiefly British, informal + sometimes offensive
—used like bloody or damned as a generalized intensive
<One fan said: 'What the bleeding hell happened???' — Charlotte Tutton>
<I said, 'Shirley, your house is on fire!' She looked at me and said, 'Michael, that's the pool. That's steam.' I was such a bleeding idiot, such a putz. — Michael Caine>"
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bleeding
(A) putz (n; from Yiddish pots penis, fool; First Known Use 1920s): "North American
1: informal  a stupid or worthless person
2: vulgar slang  a man's penis"
https://www.lexico.com/definition/putz
(B) Logan Hill, Influences: Michael Caine. New York Magazine, Apr 16, 2009
https://nymag.com/movies/features/56135/
("[reporter:] How did you get to Hollywood?
Shirley MacLaine saw me in The Ipcress File [a 1965 British espionage film starring Michael Caine], and she was a big star and had her choice of leading men. She brought me over [to Hollywood] for Gambit ['a 1966 American comedy heist film starring Shirley MacLaine and Michael Caine': en.wikipedia.org]. That started me off in my great life here. There's some cynical writing about Hollywood, but I found a good core of people who I love dearly. * * * My first few years there, I often thought I was dreaming. Shirley gave the party to introduce me to Hollywood. I could hear people going, 'Who the fuck is he?' But everyone came for Shirley. The first guest was Gloria Swanson. The second was Frank Sinatra—we eventually became close friends. Two days later, Shirley said, “We’re going to dinner at Danny Kaye’s.” He cooked Chinese food and we ate in the kitchen: Shirley and me, Cary Grant, and Prince Philip [husband of Queen Elizabeth II]. I dropped Shirley off that night in the Valley. She said, 'My house is just there.' I said, 'Shirley, your house is on fire!' She looked at me and said, 'Michael, that’s the pool. That's steam.' I was such a bleeding idiot, such a putz")
(C) Michael Caine, The Elephant to Hollywood. Henry Holt & Company, at page 80 (2010; an autobiography)
https://books.google.com/books?i ... =PA80&dq=I+said,+%27Shirley,+your+house+is+on+fire!%27+She+looked+at+me+and+said,+%27Michael,+that%27s+the+pool.+That%27s+steam.%27++%E2%80%94+Michael+Caine&source=bl&ots=I1QAG6rXgp&sig=ACfU3U2wofa-wfbF6CIUDk8QieG1w3AqGA&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwj-nrmgwN3vAhXRnOAKHQ0EBfk4ChDoATADegQIDRAD#v=onepage&q=I%20said%2C%20'Shirley%2C%20your%20house%20is%20on%20fire!'%20She%20looked%20at%20me%20and%20said%2C%20'Michael%2C%20that's%20the%20pool.%20That's%20steam.'%20%20%E2%80%94%20Michael%20Caine&f=false
("Feeling a little more in command of myself by the end of the evening [when a welcome party was held], I escorted Shirley home. As we approached her house I saw clouds of smoke pouring out from it. I pulled the driver up. 'Shirley,' I said. 'I;m verry sorry, but I think your house might be on fire.'  'Oh, Michael,' she said. 'That's just the stream from the swimming pool.' Welcome to Hollywood, I thought")

"As we approached her house I saw clouds of smoke pouring out from it."  Well I can not imagine why he made the mistake: Did the water in the stream reflect bright light or cloud? Or it was just plain water in the dark?
(D) Michael Caine (1933- ; actor) and Charlotte Tutton (a Daily Mirror journalist) are both Britons.

(c) "Intel's stumble on the second successive generation of manufacturing technology triggered a call from an activist investor last year for the company to abandon chip manufacturing by switching to a 'fabless' business model"

Svea Herbst-Bayliss AND Stephen Nellis, Exclusive: Hedge fund Third Point urges Intel to explore deal options. Reuters, Dec 30, 2020
https://www.reuters.com/article/ ... tions-idUSKBN2931PW

(d) The German name Gelsinger is "of uncertain origin. Probably a topographic or habitational name composed with Gelsing-, the root of the place name Gelsenkirchen."




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