Challenges facing Taiwan’s semiconductor industry

Intertwined semiconductor supply chains with US, China a risk for Taiwan

Taiwan News
Date: 2020/07/08
By: Huang Tzu-ti, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan’s tech sector is well-positioned in the world post-coronavirus, but challenges lie ahead in terms of its reliance on both the U.S and China, according to an economist at Singapore-based DBS Bank.

Ma Tieying (馬鐵英), a DBS economist, noted in a report published on Tuesday (July 7) that COVID-19 is likely to further push tech innovation in an era characterized by AI, IoT, and 5G technologies, and that Taiwan is set to benefit from the numerous opportunities.

Reasons she cited include the country’s integrated semiconductor supply chain and the fact that it is a hub for wafer fabrication and boasts integrated circuit (IC) packaging and testing prowess. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) and South Korea’s Samsung are the only two in the world that have the capacity to produce chips using 5-nanometer (nm) nodes, with both eyeing the more advanced 3nm by the mid-2020s, she added.

Challenges remain, though, stemming from heightened nationalism and protectionism, manifested by U.S.-China tech tensions. Taiwan is exposed to a heavy reliance on the U.S. for upstream IC design and semiconductor manufacturing materials and equipment, and Washington’s many moves to target Chinese companies could create collateral damage for the country.    [FULL  STORY]

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