Cache | The king of chips

Between Samsung and TSMC, the Taiwanese firm controls over half of global foundry manufacturing

Updated - September 08, 2022 06:25 pm IST

Published - September 08, 2022 06:00 pm IST

Technician analyses and plugs in CPU microprocessor to motherboard socket

Technician analyses and plugs in CPU microprocessor to motherboard socket | Photo Credit: Getty Images

When it comes to making chipsets, there is Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) and Samsung, and the rest. The Taiwanese firm was running at full capacity to meet demand for chips globally as the world faced a semiconductor shortage. 

Between the two, the Taiwanese firm controls over half of global foundry manufacturing. TSMC operates the world’s largest silicon wafer factories and makes some of the most advanced microchips used in almost everything from smartphones to automobiles. Its top clients include Apple and Qualcomm.

In July, TSMC’s CEO C.C. Wei told investors that demand from its clients continued to exceed the company’s ability to supply and that he expected capacity to remain tight until the end of 2022. He also noted that the firm would make inventory adjustments through the first half of 2023 as demand for smartphones and personal computers are softening.

On Thursday, the company Taipei-based company announced revenue for August. Soaring global demand has lifted the firm’s revenue nearly 60% to a record high of $7.06 billion. Its August revenue rose 58% year-on-year and jumped nearly 16% from July. The company also saw revenue for the first eight months of the year increase by 43% compared to the same period last year.

TSMC’s latest revenue numbers comes at a time when the geopolitics surrounding semiconductor business turns intense. U.S. is tightening flows of technologies to China. It recently restricted sales of AI chips and cutting-edge chip gear to Chinese customers. Washington is also considering moves to restrict U.S. investment in Chinese tech companies even as it prepares to offer billions to chip makers as incentives to bolster semiconductor production in the country. EU is also beefing plans to support domestic manufacture of semiconductor.

(This article is part of Today’s Cache, The Hindu’s newsletter on emerging themes at the intersection of technology, innovation and policy. Click here to subscribe.)

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