Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) chairman Dr Mark Liu declined to comment on statements made by Intel Corporation CEO Patrick Gelsinger earlier this week. In his statements, the Intel chief questioned Taiwan’s geopolitical stability and used it to advocate for a greater push towards semiconductor manufacturing in the United States. Dr Liu responded to questions from the press at a forum in Taiwan yesterday, where he played down Mr Gelsinger’s comments.
TSMC Is Not Criticizing Its Industry Peers, Says Chairman In Response To Intel CEO Concerns About Instability
Mr. Gelsinger shared his thoughts on the current state of the semiconductor industry and the risks associated with it at the Fortune Brainstorm Tech conference held in California on Wednesday. At the event, he stressed that while encouraging foreign companies to set up chip manufacturing facilities in the United States is a positive development, it is better for the United States government to invest in American companies because this would ensure that the valuable intellectual property for chipmaking would remain in North America.
He also said the geopolitical situation in Taiwan made the region unstable. Specifically, Gelsinger mentioned a recent incursion by Chinese fighter jets into the island’s air defense buffer zone to highlight how uncomfortable the security situation in the region could be.
The Nikkei quoted him as saying:
âTaiwan is not a stable place,â Gelsinger said, adding that Beijing sent 27 fighter jets to the Taiwan Air Defense Identification Zone this week. “Does that make you more comfortable or less?” “
When asked about Mr. Gelsinger’s statements, TSMC chairman Dr. Mark Liu downplayed the whole affair. He made his comments at a forum in Taiwan on Friday, where he said that while geopolitical tensions may have an impact in the short term, the potential for Taiwan to contribute to the global semiconductor manufacturing space is immense. .
Prior to the event, Dr. Liu was quoted by CNA English:
[T]there is nothing to settle. TSMC doesn’t speak badly of other companies in the industry.
He added that Mr. Gelsinger’s comments did not carry much weight, as few believe geopolitical tensions in Taiwan will affect TSMC’s chip-making capabilities.
The TSMC executive also shared updates for the company’s under-construction chip plant in Arizona. He maintained that the plant is on schedule to begin mass production by 2024 on TSMC’s currently state-of-the-art 5 nanometer (nm) semiconductor process. The factory plans to launch its 3nm process next year, with significant advancements in 5nm, and many fear that by the time the Arizona plant begins production, its manufacturing processes will be replaced by technology. newer and better.
Mr. Gelsinger also mentioned the Arizona facility during his speech this week, and stressed that his company must compete with those who have strong backing from their governments. Mentioning TSMC and Samsung Foundry, the chipmaking division of Korean group chaebol Samsung, he said the two received large grants from their governments, which inadvertently led Intel to compete not with companies but with governments because the financial nature of the support.
TSMC’s U.S. facility will be the largest in the country, and several rumors suggest the company may increase its reach. While official company plans list production of 20,000 wafers per month, rumors have speculated that this could quintuple to 100,000 per month. It is not known if this alleged expansion will also involve the 3nm manufacturing process.