Samsung Electronics, having obtained its first customer for its Taylor, Texas fab, is expected to increase its business in semiconductor foundry services. However, the competition with rivals such as TSMC and Intel not only depends on getting better yields, but also an ecosystem of innovation with other fabless companies.
The cumulative trade statistics from January to May this year released by the US Department of Commerce made the news around the globe in July. Mexico has surpassed China and become the largest exporter to the US.
Electrical vehicles (EV) and autonomous vehicles (AV) will be the two largest semiconductor applications in the future. However, there is still no unified specification for EV/AV semiconductor components so far.
As Huawei boldly proclaimed the comeback of its flagship 5G smartphone in early August, rumors about Huawei commissioning China's largest semiconductor foundry SMIC to break through the US export sanctions flared up again. Apparently, SMIC is the most likely source of Huawei's 5G chips, which has to be made by advanced semiconductor processing technologies. What did SMIC not say about its advanced foundry services? How is it coping with the business downcycle, alongside new export controls by the US, Japan, and the Netherlands on semiconductor equipment, to stay competitive?
A recent survey of 10 semiconductor manufacturing companies by Nikkei showed that their equipment investment in 2023 is likely to decline 16% from a year ago, to US$122 billion. This would be the first annual decline since 2019, and the largest drop in 10 years.
Car manufacturers have long been investing in building up their automotive chip supply chain, and the power module sector has been attracting major investment from them. Auto makers in China are trying to secure their access to power modules by collaborating with silicon carbide compound semiconductor (SiC) product providers, so as to catch up with BYD, the electrical automotive giant with the capability of producing batteries and IGBT/SiC key components.
On July 28th, Friday, at the Company Venture in New York City, the North America Taiwanese Engineering & Science Association (NATEA) NY team hosted a thought-provoking startup talk event, centered around the theme of "Becoming an Entrepreneur". The entrepreneurial journey is often a daring leap from the familiar world of corporate jobs to the uncertain territory of startups. Throughout the talk, industry experts generously shared their invaluable experiences, challenges, and expert advice for those aspiring to make this transformation. Covering a wide array of topics, from finding the right co-founder to understanding the industry and securing venture capital funding, the event provided a treasure trove of insights for budding entrepreneurs.
As more and more companies participating in the RE100 initiative will use 100% green energy by 2030–2050, green hydrogen is a key option in the long-term global energy transition. In view of the strong growth potential of the global hydrogen industry, Taiwan's semiconductor companies should have long-term plans for utilizing green hydrogen as a source of green energy, said Sabrina Yu, analyst and project manager at DIGITIMES Research.
Having just celebrated the inauguration of its Global R&D Center building in Hsinchu, TSMC has made clear that Taiwan will remain the core hub of its innovation and advanced-node production for at least the next 20 years. However, with the geopolitical power struggle and the trend of regionalization expected to take hold, TSMC and Taiwan must justify their value to the customers who are seeking to diversify production out of Taiwan.
There is a big blind spot for Taiwan and all other countries dishing out CHIPS Act subsidies only to advanced-node semiconductor manufacturing capacities: innovations on mature nodes, which are used to produce chips in everyday applications to enable our transportation infrastructure, building temperature controls, automotive controls, and more, continue to receive huge investment in China without limitations.
TSMC, which is under pressure from major countries to set up factories overseas, has been criticized for receiving subsidies from the US and Germany by Intel and GlobalFoundries respectively. What is noteworthy is that TSMC's investments in Kumamoto, Japan and the related subsidies received from the Japanese government have been smooth and without controversy so far, and their cooperation is pleasant.
Nvidia has given its long-term partners, including Quanta Computer, Wistron, and Supermicro, priority to receive its AI GPUs which are in great demand, according to industry sources. TSMC, the manufacturer of Nvidia's chips, has already devoted as much capacity as possible to making its AI GPUs, which nevertheless will remain in short supply this year.