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Thursday, February 29, 2024

TSMC founder foresees the necessity for as much as ten new fabs for AI chip manufacturing

A sizzling potato: Morris Chang is a legendary determine within the semiconductor enterprise. The Taiwanese-American businessman and electrical engineer based TSMC in 1987, and is called the daddy of the whole semiconductor trade of Taiwan. And he is nonetheless making some daring predictions concerning the future.

Chang lately acknowledged that the present demand for AI {hardware} accelerators is so excessive that his firm will quickly should multiply its manufacturing capability at staggering charges. Chang spoke in the course of the inauguration ceremony of TSMC’s first manufacturing plant in-built Japan, stating that he’s anticipating a brand new “chip renaissance” for the Asian nation.

The TSMC founder stated he spoke with unnamed representatives of AI chip firms, and that these govt figures made some unprecedented requests to the Taiwanese foundry. “They aren’t speaking about tens of hundreds of wafers,” Chang stated, they need TSMC to construct new manufacturing crops. At this charge, TSMC might want to open three, 5, ten new fabs, Chang acknowledged.

GPUs and different specialised chips are primarily based on extremely parallel designs, offering a big enhance in AI functions akin to machine-learning mannequin coaching or inference-based chatbots. Demand for these silicon merchandise is larger than ever; complete firms are re-focusing their enterprise across the new trade hype and Nvidia – the undisputed herald of the AI growth – lately admitted that it won’t be able to fulfill the world’s starvation for extra AI chips by itself.

Nevertheless, constructing a completely new chip manufacturing plant is an extraordinarily costly enterprise, even for one of many few world-class foundry firms like TSMC. After his bombastic predictions, Chang then provided a extra tempered forecast for the longer term. The TSMC founder predicts that precise trade demand for brand new AI chips will probably be “someplace within the center,” between tens of hundreds of wafers and “tens of fabs.”

Whereas attending the opening ceremony of TSMC’s new Japanese plant, Chang stated that he first arrived within the nation in 1968, to begin a three way partnership between Texas Devices and Sony. After founding TSMC, Chang noticed the cultural and expertise similarities between Taiwan and Japan for the then-nascent semiconductor trade.

Within the late Nineteen Eighties, the Asian nation owned six of the highest ten international chipmakers. After lacking the PC revolution, Japan’s lead was later eroded by rivals from the US, Taiwan, and South Korea. At this time, the world’s largest chip producers are all exterior Japan, whereas native client electronics firms nonetheless maintain important market shares within the picture sensor enterprise (Sony), automotive functions (Renesas, Rohm), and NAND Flash reminiscence chips (Kioxia).

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