Last week, multiple media outlets reported that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSMC) would triple its planned investment at its Arizona chip plant. This obviously tells us that the company is feeling bullish about its offshore manufacturing expansion.
There is no doubt that this is great news for the semiconductor world, the supply chain, Apple, Nvidia, TSMC shareholders, and the US. However, I am curious about how this business decision is going to affect the safety and security of Taiwanese people.
TSMC and its highly advanced fabs are to be protected at all costs. Disrupting the work of plants in Hsinchu would be equal to disrupting the global supply chain, as there is no other company in the world capable of manufacturing equally advanced chips.
The fact that the tech world is dependent on chips produced in Hsinchu is an enormous advantage for the safety of Taiwan. Moving the fabs and talent further away from the island will not benefit the people of Taiwan. TSMC with its global influence has been a huge factor in guaranteeing the safety of the island and peace in the Taiwan strait. On the other hand, TSMC is a corporation like every other and does what is best for its business. In the future, are we going to see fabs in Central/Eastern Europe next? I believe so.
By the time the Arizona fab begins operations in 2024 (assuming no delays occur), the 4nm process will be already behind the latest and greatest. Nevertheless, it is the notion that is so significant in this case. TSMC is certainly looking to move its advanced manufacturing away from Taiwan and this action may have significant security consequences for the people of Taiwan.