TSMC’s Moneyed And Moving

TSMC’s Moneyed And Moving

about 1 year ago2 mins

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TSMC, the world’s biggest contract chipmaker, revealed on Friday that business was booming in November.

What does this mean?

Talk about a killer month: TSMC raked in over $7 billion in revenue this November – a whopping 50% improvement from the same time last year – to bring this quarter’s revenue goal of around $20 billion within spitting distance. The reason for that sterling performance is simple: the firm’s top-of-the-range chip-making services were snapped up by titans like Qualcomm, while its favorite customer Apple has got TSMC producing chips to power its latest, high-end iPhone. That means that while whole swathes of the chip industry are being rocked to sleep by a spiraling global economy, TSMC’s still bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, and bagging success after success.

TSMC Apple
Source: Bloomberg

Why should I care?

Zooming in: Caught in the crossfire.

TSMC’s based in disputed territory, Taiwan, and operates in a powder-keg industry – so despite the firm’s bumper revenue, its bosses probably aren’t sleeping all that soundly at night. After all, the US is trying to cut China off from the kind of high-tech chips TSMC specializes in, and is encouraging TSMC to take its operations to safer, overseas locations – to the US, in short. That meant that TSMC’s decision to up its investment in Arizona from $12 billion to $40 billion last week probably wasn’t a total bolt from the blue. But it could signal that the firm’s moving into a new, prominent role at the heart of US chipmaking.

TSMC factory output

The bigger picture: Made in China, soon.

China’s not going to take this lying down, mind you. The People’s Republic is bringing out the big guns, Alibaba and Tencent, to design chip tech rivaling anything the West has got its hands on. But Rome wasn’t built in a day, and experts think China’s vision of home-grown, first-class chips could remain a pipe dream for another few years.

Chip production shifts
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