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Morris Chang from TSMC: America’s bid for semiconductor manufacturing is wasteful and futile

Chang, who was invited by the Brookings Institution to talk about the semiconductor manufacturing problem in the US in its latest Podcast, said it was wasteful and expensive for the US to increase semiconductor manufacturing, Taiwan’s Business Times reported.

Morris Chang – CEO of TSMC
CEO of TSMC, Morris Chang

Zhang Zhongmou pointed out that the competitive advantage that semiconductor manufacturing has is almost entirely related to talent. The U.S. chose a new path in the 1970s and 1980s, allowing manufacturing talent to be retrained for higher-paying jobs, which is not a bad thing for the U.S. but poses a challenge for the U.S. wafer manufacturing industry, which cannot increase the talent devoted to manufacturing.

For example, TSMC’s wafer fab in Oregon has been operating for 25 years, and at the beginning of its operation, it was naïve to think that the cost could be comparable with Taiwan, but the gap between the two places is very big, and the cost of the same product produced in the Oregon plant is 50% higher than that produced in Taiwan.

Morris Chang believes that if efforts are made to increase U.S. semiconductor manufacturing capacity, it will face a significant increase in unit production costs at the same time, and will not be competitive in the globalized semiconductor market.

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