The World is Dangerously Dependent on Taiwan for Semiconductors

Taiwan’s industrial structure is good, even though they need more industries.

The largest, most successful companies do contract manufacturing. TSMC, Foxconn (Tesla displays and servers). Foxconn is diversifying its business, thank goodness.

One leading fabless designer, Mediatek.

Then you have a couple of brand-name laptops, Acer and Asus. They diminished in importance when phones came along, but are resurging because of telework. And a couple of brand-name bikes.

Then you have multinationals operating R&D centers, mostly in AI: Apple, Amazon, Google, IBM, Yahoo, Qualcomm, Cisco, Micron.

But it works the other way also. More than half of ASML R&D is done right here in Taiwan.

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This podcast episode - also from Bloomberg - was recorded on 12 Jan. Tim Culpan is the guest analyst.

Is it really referred to as “Taiwan Semi”? Tim doesn’t call it that


They’ve inaccurately stated that TSMC manufactures half the world’s chips.

They own half the pure play foundry market.

They said something I’ve said before, and that’s that only Samsung can unseat TSMC.

Interesting they brought up quantum computing. Wonder if TSMC is doing something about that.

…i notice Taiwan of cements. semi- to trade more kids… :neutral_face:

I look forward to more competition with our rival.

Economists at research firm TS Lombard estimated that Taiwan and South Korea account for 83% of global processor chip production and 70% of memory chip output — which means the two East Asian economies have a near-monopoly status in both segments of the industry.

That dominance would allow Taiwan and South Korea to “leverage their increased strategic importance for economic and political gains” from the U.S. and China — their two largest customers, the economists said in a Friday note.

“Taiwan and Korea are on the front line of the US-China confrontation, reliant on China for growth, but on the US as guarantor of national security,” they said.

Just go ask Samsung for them. Oh wait…


A serious bit about the Ever Given saga.

This piece by Michael Turton on semiconductor dependency might be the most depressing thing I’ve read in a while. Read at your own risk!


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Taiwan is a big boy now. Mentioned in the same breath…

“Russia cannot import American equipment, German, equipment, Taiwanese technology…”

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We are giving away our chop tech now. Really dumb move. Soon the only thing worth them wanting to protect is our lands’ location. Strategic mistake in my opinion, weapons shouldn’t be traded for taiwans only golden egg layer.

There’s a little bit more nuance to that at the moment. TSMC is being forced to set up operations on American soil just to serve the American military and certain “important” Fortune-500 firms. This is a small portion of their overall capacity and would do nothing to diminish the impact to the rest of America and the world at large if Taiwan got erased.

Of course they could move more of their operations at a later date, but right at the moment this doesn’t have much effect on Taiwan’s value in the chip industry.

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Sure. But they already have gone from 4 to 3 next I bet money they will be also do 2. The issue isn’t the production, its the tech. They already got more that they said they would. I don’t trust for a second it stops here.

I don’t think weapons are a fiar trade. If they want to give up our best of the best, we should demand actual recognition and non ambiguous protection or no chips for you. The US got the better deal. By FAR

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Isn’t the tech all imported?

Wasnt*. Taiwan has developed it quite a lot. Now it is exported back and we will get sold out.

I’m pretty sure it is mostly Dutch and Japanese equipment with American designs. The production is Taiwanese, and the simple stuff that China can also make, but not the advanced tech, is my understanding…


Yes and no, they’ve made incremental improvements around the edges to boost quality and throughput but I’m not aware of any actual leading edge tech developed in Taiwan. That’s all still happening in Europe and America.

But that’s a fast-moving industry so all of our info may be out of date, perhaps there’s a real chip guru on the board that can chime in with the current state of things…? :eyes:

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Not sure if I believe the US push to get our tech is based solely on taiwans ability to setup factories and logistics. I think this is pretty obvious…if I am wrong, then why bother pressing TSMC to go stateside in the first place and continue to surrender more advanced tech than they claimed int he beginning ? :rofl: seems quite naive to think the US needs help with anything but the tech quite frankly. If it comes to factories and logistics, the US is quite capable already.

That is to say, they want the tech. Not the labor. This seems beyond obvious. And we, Taiwan, are fucking stupid for doing so without more security promises in writing.

To boot, they aren’t pushing the Euro nations amazing tech, which also fuels tsmc, to go stateside. And it is obvious why…no China threat.

I believe it is the process and the ecosystem.

I checked half of these, none are Taiwanese

Part of the reason TSMC can’t easily set up shop in the US using the same equipment is precisely because of labor costs and logistics.

But TSMC also has a process that nobody else can compete with. Very good at ticks in boxes here

The factories are already here. To build the factories elsewhere is possible and will take time. And will need people who have worked in the factories and know what the processes and workflow are. TSMC can give this

But the actual technology, the equipment to make the chips and the chip designs, is mostly imported to Taiwan

They benefit need help with the checklists. For semiconductor manufacturing, they do not have the factories or logistics (that’s mostly in Taiwan, now)

There is also the cost of labor issue, this has been reported, I can dig up the link for you

Right, the actual technology. Which the US has worked to block from export to China.

Edit, links as promised:

Second edit:
To be fair, this guy seems to agree with you, and this was the first thing google showed me and is quite new

But it doesn’t say exactly what technology is better here. It isn’t the chip designs or manufacturing equipment, as far as I can tell


Exactly, this isn’t about tech, it’s about supply chain integrity.