The head of Taiwan’s most significant smartphone chip design firm told Reuters over the weekend that tensions between China and the United States are prompting some manufacturer companies to discuss moving a portion of their supply chain away from Taiwan as well, though it would only be “incremental.”
According to MediaTek Inc. Chief Executive Rick Tsai, some of the “very large (equipment manufacturers) will require their chip suppliers to have multiple sources, like from Taiwan and from the U.S., or from Germany or from Europe. “If the business requires it, I believe in those circumstances we will need to find multiple sources for the same chip.”
He continued, “It’s happening now, but not in a big way.”
In Sonoma Valley, California’s wine region, Tsai and senior executives spoke with Reuters on Friday outside of a media and analyst event the company was hosting there. The business has been working hard to expand in the United States, and Tsai stated that the aim was to triple or quadruple sales, though he did not provide a timeline.
While Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co in Taiwan produces MediaTek’s most cutting-edge smartphone chips, Tsai claimed that some of the company’s more traditional smartphone chips are produced by GlobalFoundries Inc, which has manufacturing facilities in countries like the United States and Singapore. Tsai cited the company’s earlier-this-year announcement to produce its chips at Intel Corp.
According to Tsai, MediaTek’s commitment to use “Intel 16” chip manufacturing technology works well for the production of MediaTek chips for Wi-Fi and smart TVs.
“It’s a significant area of business for us. So, we aren’t kidding. And I’m personally monitoring that progress every month,” Tsai added, noting that starting in the second half of 2024, Intel’s chips will be manufactured in Ireland.
However, he cautioned that it wasn’t realistic for the chip industry to completely move away from Taiwan, the world’s most significant region for advanced chip manufacturing. He added that MediaTek will also be producing chips in TSMC’s Arizona fab once that facility is up and running.
“But is that going to be enough? No. Not by far,” he said.
(Adapted from LiveMint.com)