Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co is the champion of contract chipmaking, but the company, which controls half of the business worldwide, is facing a serious challenge from Samsung Electronics, its archrival in South Korea. Samsung is trying to catch up on the next battleground – 5G, the next-gen mobile communication standard. But TSMC’s lead may be insurmountable, given the stellar finance and business strategy of founder Morris Chang.
The southern Taiwanese city of Tainan is full of economic vitality. In 2018, TSMC broke ground on a cutting-edge plant worth nearly $40 billion. The new coronavirus pandemic has forced Taiwan to restrict the entry of foreign customers and talent, but this has not slowed TSMC. The TSMC’s Tainan plant has started producing 5-nanometer chips bound for new Apple iPhones expected to launch in the second half of 2020. These incredibly thin chips for central processing units will be slimmed to 3 nm in 2022 to fulfill the new requirements of 5G equipment. TSMC invests for the long term and is generally unaffected by short-term fluctuations in business, because of its strong financials.