Its excellence in the computer chip market puts it at the center of the battle for global technological supremacy.
The New York Times
Date:Dec. 14, 2020
By Ruchir Sharma
A Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company office in Tainan, Taiwan.Credit…An Rong Xu for The New York Times
The Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union perpetually threatened to spark conflict in nations all over the world, including battles over the control of a vast array of natural and industrial resources. The new Cold War, between the United States and China, is increasingly focused on access to just one industry in one place: computer chips made in Taiwan.
Over the past year, Taiwan has taken a lead in the race to build thinner, faster and more powerful chips, or semiconductors. Its fastest chips are the critical building blocks of rapidly evolving digital industries like artificial intelligence and high-speed computing. The thinnest chips will be powering the coming “internet of things,” in which homes, cars, appliances and even clothes will connect to smartphones and voice-activated speakers over 5G networks.
As of now, any country looking to dominate the digital future has to buy these superfast, ultrathin chips from either Taiwan or South Korea. And Taiwan has the edge in both technology and market power. It is a small island of just 24 million people, but it is at the center of the battle for global technological supremacy. Pound for pound, it is the most important place in the world. As the Cold War between China and the United States intensifies, that importance will only continue to grow. [FULL STORY]