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How Taiwan’s Chips Compare To The U.S & Why They Are Important

Taiwan is the home of TSMC, the world’s biggest and strongest semiconductor manufacturing company. Taiwan is a country that is seeped in a political minefield. The notions regarding its independence remain a contested topic, even as the U.S. moves to improve diplomatic relations with the island country. The history of Taiwan is a historian’s delight in complexities.

With the amount of processing power the modern age relies on, both in terms of corporate efficiency and personal entertainment, it isn’t hard to cipher just how drastic a sudden shift in the production half of this system would be in day-to-day life. But, of course, this wouldn’t be as notable of a point to make if the world used a large variety of producers for chip products in the same way the world uses such a formula for any other technological necessity. The only problem is that there aren’t any other chip producers close to TSMC’s league, and they likely won’t be for another five to ten years at least.

Related: Intel Raptor Lake Could Be Up To 20 Percent Faster Than Alder Lake CPUs

TSMC, by itself, is an entity that makes Taiwan more than just a landscape for political inquiry and philosophy. Given TSMC’s ability to produce chips for CPUs and GPUs at the scale it can and the quality it can, it has become the de-facto chip maker of the world. The tech industry has already seen the effect of the Russia and Ukraine conflict. There are now fears of what could happen if Taiwan’s independence is threatened, given how much the world relies on TSMC for semiconductors.

AMD, the processor and GPU giant in the computing world, outsources all of its complex manufacturing needs to TSMC. This means that every one of the upcoming Ryzen 7000 series CPUs, for instance, is being produced with TSMC’s hands. This reality is primarily thanks to the company’s 5nm node, which is technologically far and away the best method for making fast and energy-efficient chips in today’s world. The Taiwanese company isn’t slowing down, either, with the roadmaps for its 3nm and 2nm technologies in the works.

Intel, which also outsources some of its production to TSMC, will be producing its new 13th-generation “Raptor Lake” CPUs with in-house production methods. Namely, it will use Intel’s 10nm production tech. This puts TSMC, in terms of chip manufacturing prowess, years ahead of Intel. This may not seem like a big deal, except that the U.S.-based CPU (and now GPU) producer is the company that’s most aggressively trying to become independent from TSMC’s hand-holding in the tech world. Intel has spent billions of dollars developing a new semiconductor factory in Ohio. Just one of its moves in planning for the future.

This is to say nothing of tech giants like Apple, who make up over 25 percent of TSMC’s overall business as of last year. With Apple products being in so many pockets of citizens in the modern world, it becomes easy to see why TSMC’s capabilities are not only impressive but also something the rest of the world largely relies on. This is one of the reasons that the current turmoil surrounding China and Taiwan has become a discussion that’s important to the tech world: if TSMC, as a Taiwanese company, was forced out of the world economy, could it cause a global economic upset in the computing world that even the pandemic wouldn’t be able to touch? The prospect is worrying, but for what it’s worth, TSMC Chairman Mark Liu stated in a recent interview with CNN that he doesn’t think TSMC could see such a fate since its power relies on being a part of the world economy.

Next: Don’t Expect Chip Shortage To End In 2022, Warns TSMC

Source: TSMC, CNN

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