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  • Chips are in everything, and they've been in short supply since just a few months into the pandemic last year. That's why it's been hard to buy

  • everything from cars to PS5s. Turns out one company makes 24% of all the world's chips, and more than 90% of the most advanced ones, the smallest,

  • fastest chips used in today's iPhones, supercomputers and automotive AI.

  • Heck, we even have product that's landed on the last Mars launch that are taking pictures of Mars.

  • Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, or TSMC, is not a household name. But it's quietly making chips for every new iPhone, U.S. fighter

  • jets, the highest-end processors, you name it. And now it's investing $100 billion over three years to ramp up production amid the shortage.

  • The combined output of what we're doing is in excess of 12 million wafers a year.

  • But the world's massive reliance on TSMC may also leave the global chip supply vulnerable to earthquakes, drought and geopolitical tensions with

  • China.

  • It's become almost a monopoly at the leading edge and all of those manufacturing operations for the most part part out of Taiwan, Hsinchu.

  • That becomes a matter of national importance for the United States. But not only the United States, but the Western world.

  • TSMC almost always keeps its production sites closed to U.S. video crews. Until now.

  • The total floor space for this fab is around a 2.3 million square feet.

  • The U.S. was the birthplace of advanced silicon. But for decades now, it's been losing market share to Asia, where 75% of chip production happens now.

  • TSMC is now bringing the world's most advanced chipmaking back to the U.S. with a $12 billion fabrication plant, or fab, in the middle of the Arizona

  • desert.

  • It's going to be, when it gets introduced to production in 2024, the most advanced technology manufactured in the United States.

  • We got an exclusive tour of the fab site in northern Phoenix to get the truth about the secretive Taiwanese company and why the world's largest

  • contract chipmaker is bringing bleeding edge chip manufacturing back to U.S. soil.

  • When Morris Chang first proposed the idea for TSMC in the mid 80s, investors were skeptical. Born in China and educated at Harvard, MIT and

  • Stanford. Chang moved to Taiwan after 25 years at Texas Instruments. There, the government asked him to create a Taiwanese semiconductor company that

  • would become a world leader. His idea: focus only on manufacturing, what's known now as a pure-play foundry.

  • When you're just focused on one thing, you do one thing really well.

  • Rick Cassidy is TSMC's top executive in the U.S. He's been with the company for 23 years.

  • The slice we spun out was foundry. And that's what we do. And we put all of our resources into doing that one thing.

  • Chang bet big on a need that didn't exist in the 80s. When he founded TSMC in 1987, giants like Intel and Texas Instruments took pride in designing

  • and making their own chips. A legendary saying in the industry back then was, "Real men have fabs."

  • When Morris went out to get funding, he went to many named companies, and they told him, "Morris, your idea won't get off the ground. If you get it

  • off the ground, it can't scale."

  • But as chips got more complex, making them became an enormous undertaking. Building a fab today takes at least two years and $10 billion. It's become

  • nearly impossible for even the biggest chip companies - Intel, NVIDIA, Broadcom, Qualcomm, AMD - to do it all and keep up with the most advanced

  • tech. Intel, for example, still designs and makes its own chips. But it's fallen behind Samsung and TSMC in recent years, even relying on TSMC to

  • make some of its chips.

  • So if you were a smart designer, you didn't have to have billions of dollars and a fab behind you for the first time with the emergence of TSM.

  • Now each major step of chipmaking is often handled by a separate company. Some like ARM and MIPS focus on IP and architecture, providing the core

  • building blocks to design chips. Then there's electronic design automation, EDA companies like Cadence and Synopsis that write the software used to

  • design chips. Only one company, ASML makes the $180 million extreme ultraviolet light machines required to etch designs into the most advanced

  • chips. And then of course there are the wildly successful fabless companies designing the chips. Think Apple, Qualcomm, NVIDIA and many more. As these

  • fabulous companies took off, TSMC found itself on a flywheel making more and more of the world's chips.

  • And this has allowed TSM to not only catch up but, in my opinon, surpass Intel to become the world's greatest manufacturing technology on the

  • planet, and responsible for becoming one of the top 10 most valuable companies in terms of market cap in the globe.

  • TSMC was first listed on the Taiwan stock exchange in 1994. In 1997, it became the first Taiwan company listed on the New York Stock Exchange. By

  • the 2000s, it had caught up with the 20 or so other companies making the most advanced chips at the time. As the tech kept advancing, more and mor

  • fell behind until today, only two manufacturers remain that can make the most advanced five-nanometer chips: TSMC and Samsung. In 2013, Apple starte

  • relying on TSMC to make its A-series chips for the iPhone as it moved awa from reliance on Samsung, a direct competitor in mobile phones. Toda

  • there's a TSMC chip inside every iPhone on the market. And Apple has mo ed away from Intel, too, now relying on TSMC to make the chips inside most

  • But they remain sort of in the background. So you know, Apple gets all the accolades when a new phone comes out.

  • We let our products speak for themselves. Their success brings all the business that we could ever hope for.

  • As to why TSMC hasn't allowed U.S. media into its sights before now?

  • Is part of the secrecy have to do with IP?

  • Sure because the IP protection is very important for this industry, not only for TSMC, but also for the other companies in the industry.

  • In 2018 at age 86, Chang retired as chairman of TSMC. His radical pure-play foundry idea continues to pay off. With the opening of a new fab in Taiwan

  • next year, TSMC is in a race with Samsung to make the world's first three-nanometer chips, with Intel planning to get there by 2025. Along with

  • cutting edge three- and five-nanometer TSMC also makes far larger chips for everything from cars to coffee makers. To understand the different kinds of

  • chips and why nanometers matter, let's look at how they're made. Silicon, an abundant element found in rocks and sand, is purified and melted down,

  • then sliced into circular wafers. These wafers are the surface on which chips are built in a grid formation. Each chip on the wafer can have

  • hundreds of tiny layers, each made up of transistors and electrical circuits, which determine what the chip can do. The miniscule circuitry is

  • printed on each layer using lithography, extremely precise rays of light. The smaller the width of the transistor gate, five nanometer, three

  • nanometers, the more processing power can fit in a given space with less power needed. The smallest transistors are more than 10,000 times thinner

  • than a human hair.

  • Most of the chips are probably about the size, a large one, of my thumbnail. On there, you might have something like 50 billion-plus

  • transistors, and they all have to work. These are parts that are going to be used in lots of different places, CPUs, GPUs, IPUs, etc. They'll be used

  • in smartphones.

  • Bigger chips are used in most household devices, things like a TV remote or electric toothbrush. Cars often use less advanced 28- to 40-nanometer

  • chips. And all types of chips have been impacted by the shortage. Car makers like GM and Toyota have paused production at some plants. And Apple

  • is cutting its 2021 production targets for the iPhone 13, with orders for the 13 Pro Max delayed by more than a month. Right now no fab in the U.S.

  • can make five-nanometer chips, but TSMC is changing that.

  • The F-35 Strike Fighter to these consumer products, their customer base is wide. 500-plus companies are their customers in the United States. And so

  • as a byproduct of that we knew they were going to need to be in the United States at some point.

  • Chris Camacho of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council got to visit TSMC's fabs in Taiwan during the five years he was helping negotiate the deal that

  • brought the project to Arizona.

  • The robotics, the automation, the mechanization occurring before your eyes and so you can see how these things not only are so capital intensive, but

  • they're also their output is so significant.

  • TSMC is six months into building this massive five-nanometer fab outside Phoenix that will pump out 20,000 wafers per month starting in 2024. The

  • chips from the wafers will end up in iPhones, high-end processors and much more. Arizona project leader Tony Chen has led 17 other fab construction

  • projects in his 23 years with TSMC.

  • Actually this project is designed for five-nanometers fab. It's a copy from the fab we have in Taiwan.

  • Just down the road Intel is in the midst of building two new fabs, spending $20 billion. These massive buildings used to make miniscule chips have

  • brought some of the world's largest equipment to Arizona.

  • This is the biggest crane that Manitowoc makes. There's only two of them in existence. And it's a 2,300 ton crane. Since we've started, our dirt

  • contractors moved over 3,731,000 cubic yards of dirt. We've also used over 260 million gallons of water.

  • Indeed, building a fab and making chips takes an incredible amount of water, something that's not easy to find in the middle of the desert.

  • Arizona's biggest water source is groundwater. But deep wells at big farms are using up groundwater faster than it's naturally replenished.

  • We do need around 4.7 million galllons per day of water to support the production.

  • TSMC is no stranger to water shortages. Taiwan is facing its worst drought in 56 years, something that TSMC says has not impacted production. In

  • Arizona, TSMC says an onsite water treatment center will recycle up to 90% of water used at the fab

  • And ultimately that water will be reinjected into the aquifer in partnership with the city of Phoenix after reverse osmosis and other

  • technology solutions are provided.

  • Another challenge of producing the most advanced chips stateside: the current specialists are all in Asia.

  • TSM's best engineers right now are in Taiwan. They're likely going to stay in Taiwan. The most cutting edge r&d is going to be done in Taiwan.

  • To solve this, recruiter Roxanna Vega says TSMC is bringing over some of its top experts from Taiwan.

  • They're seen as subject matter experts in what they do in our fabs over there. So it'll be a temporary assignment depending two, maybe three years.

  • TSMC has already sent some 300 new U.S. hires to Taiwan for 12 to 18 months to get up to speed.

  • And the opportunity to train in our five-nanometer gigafab in Taiwan is gonna give them that insight of how immense and how state-of-the-art our

  • tools, machinery and everything is going to be here in Arizona.

  • Taiwan is not very good when it comes to analog semiconductor design. And by moving to the United States they'd be able to tap into a much larger

  • number of analog designers.

  • This diversification is a key reason for TSMC to bring advanced manufacturing to the U.S. And then there's proximity to its huge, fabless

  • customers based in the U.S. like Apple, Nvidia and Qualcomm.

  • If you want more capacity, you have to build more fabs. And that's one of the reasons that we're moving to the U.S. Our customers want us in the

  • U.S., the U.S. government wants us here.

  • Over 60% of their customer base is still U.S. companies. So some of these companies like Apple had hinted that they want their supplier to be closer

  • to home, just in case

  • TSMC has 12 fabs, almost all of them in Taiwan and China. They account for nearly 54% of all global foundry revenue. And this heavy reliance on TSMC

  • in Taiwan leaves the world vulnerable to potential slowdowns from earthquakes, the current drought there, or the geopolitical tensions

  • swirling around the U.S., China and Taiwan. But some refer to TSMC as Taiwan's silicon shield.

  • The silicon shield is: TSMC is extremely, extremely important. And I think people depend on us.

  • The media paints a very bleak picture of this situation. But I'm actually much more optimistic in part because of this idea: the semiconductor

  • shield. China, as of right now, needs them for their leading edge manufacturing.

  • The U.S. also depends heavily on the chips coming out of Taiwan, a key reason the government worked hard to convince TSMC to bring its tech here.

  • We're not going to have to worry about geopolitical conflict. We're not going to have to worry about another major pandemi. We will have these kind

  • of manufacturing capacities on U.S. soil.

  • Today, only 12% of the world's semiconductors are made in the U.S. That's down from 37% in 1990.

  • Back in the days of Bell Labs and the early days of Silicon Valley, we were probably 100%.

  • both state and federal officials are eager to entice TSMC to bring advanced silicon back to the country where it first took off.

  • The State of Arizona has a number of programs including the Qualified Facility tax credit, and the Quality Jobs tax credit, that's really an

  • incentive to help lower the cost of operations. In addition to that, the city of Phoenix put together a $200 million infrastructure package that

  • helps TSMC access water and additional infrastructure needed.

  • The Biden administration has proposed $52 billion in subsidies for chip companies like TSMC to manufacture on U.S. soil. It's been nicknamed the

  • CHIPS act.

  • This is infrastructure. So look: we need to build the infrastructure of today. Not repair the one that yesterday.

  • And things like the CHIPS Act are absolutely critical for the success of our country, not only to compete, but to recruit these kind of firms to

  • operate in the U.S. Otherwise we're going to be importing chips for the rest of our lifetime.

  • Over the last 20, 30, 40 years, we've slowly slipped in that manufacturing element, especially as we have seen the decrease in cost in other

  • countries. It's somewhere between 20 to 25%. cheaper for American firms to produce their semiconductors outside of the United States.

  • TSMC's Rick Cassidy took part in discussions that led to the CHIPS Act.

  • We don't want anything more than to create a level playing field so that it doesn't cost more to make chips in the U.S. than it does in other

  • locations.

  • Industry reports estimate a $50 billion investment from the U.S. government would enable the construction of 19 new fabs in the U.S. over the next 10

  • years, more than doubling domestic chip manufacturing capability. As the shortage continues, similar investments are happening around the world.

  • Industry association SEMI projects 72 new fabs or major expansions will come online by 2024, 10 of them located in North and South America.

  • I heard more announcements of investments in last two, three years than my entire life. Korea will invest $450 billion in next 10 years. EU has

  • announced roughly $150 billion investments. And based on that we feel that by the end of next year, we should start seeing some relief on the chip

  • shortage.

  • But until then, as demand continues to soar, TSMC is raising chip prices as much as 20%, a cost that could trickle down to the price of consumer

  • electronics.

  • TSMC has always been able to charge a premium if it was necessary. And most of their customers recognize that there's a you know if there's a good

  • reason they're willing to pay for it.

  • Meanwhile, TSMC will certainly continue investing in ramping up production capacity, including in the U.S. where the 1,100-acre Arizona sight

  • certainly has room for a second phase and more.

  • So we've got a lot of land. And we have the ability to do more ther.,

  • It will take time. But it's not just the chip and the foundries. It's going to be the entirety of the supply chain. So it's packaging companies. It's

  • companies that produce the chemicals and the gases required that go into the manufacturing process. So I see this as an entirety of a shift in the

  • semiconductor sector for the United States.

  • As you can see, we can get into a lot of trouble when everything is in one area alone. So I think it would be a great victory, in fact, to see the

  • United States reverse the declines that we've had over the last few decades.

Chips are in everything, and they've been in short supply since just a few months into the pandemic last year. That's why it's been hard to buy

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晶片(Secretive Giant TSMC’s $100 Billion Plan To Fix The Chip Shortage)

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    joey joey 發佈於 2021 年 10 月 17 日
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