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Globalization is ‘almost dead,’ tech guru says

Close cross-border cooperation is not likely to come back, according to TSMC founder Morris Chang

Geopolitics have drastically changed the situation facing semiconductor makers, who have been struggling with numerous constraints, according to Morris Chang, founder of the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation (TSMC).

The chip industry’s veteran was speaking at an event in Phoenix, Arizona, on Tuesday where his company, the world’s leading manufacturer of semiconductors, unveiled an ambitious $40-billion plan to expand and upgrade its new plant.

It is TSMC’s first advanced chip plant in the United States in more than two decades, and Chang said a lot of “hard work” remained to make it a success.

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The enhancements could reportedly enable the Phoenix factory to eventually produce chips for Apple’s iPhones that can perform nearly 17 trillion specialized calculations per second. TSMC later plans to build a second factory there that will feature even more advanced production technology, targeting future smartphones, computers and other smart devices.

Talking to Nikkei Asia on the sidelines of the event, Chang compared the current project to when TSMC built its first plant in the US, in Camas, Washington, in 1995.

“Twenty-seven years have passed and [the semiconductor industry] witnessed a big change in the world, a big geopolitical situation change in the world,” Chang said, adding: “Globalization is almost dead and free trade is almost dead. A lot of people still wish they would come back, but I don’t think they will be back.” 


READ MORE: Global chip shortage expected to drag on – Bosch

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His comments come amid growing fears that tensions between the US and China over key technologies, including semiconductors, could further hurt the global tech supply chain. In October, Washington rolled out new restrictions, which made it increasingly difficult for companies like TSMC to serve their clients.

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December 09, 2022 at 12:09PM
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