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Economy Taiwan's Importance Can't Be Overstated (Or Can It?)

Discussion in 'The War Room' started by Deorum, May 24, 2022.

  1. Deorum Double Yellow Card Double Yellow Card

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    Kinda.

    Granted, if the CCP/PLA were to launch a military invasion in an attempt to take control of the "renegade province" by force that resulted in damage to TSMC's physical capital and interrupted chip production (or if Taiwan took sabotage measures itself in response), this wouldn't only be devastating for the semiconductor industry or even the technology sector, it would completely upend markets and supply chains the entire world over with disastrous ripple effects and impact on the global economy at large.

    With that said, the proprietary know-how is still of far greater significance because it isn't so much Taiwan's fabrication plants or infrastructure itself that is of the greatest value, but the capital equipment assembled and tuned within them. The intellectual property for and production of the machinery required to manufacture advanced microchips remains almost exclusively within the grip of five firms that are based in the United States, Netherlands, and Japan. They are Applied Materials (US), ASML (Netherlands), Lam Research (US), KLA-Tencor (US) and Tokyo Electron (Japan).

    As important of a hub Taiwan is for spinning out the core tech that makes the modern world run, it is entirely dependent on those inputs to advance chip manufacturing and process technology. It also does not engineer any microchips itself, but rather takes and produces the designs of a predominantly US corporation client base as a pure play foundry. At this juncture, the biggest obstacle for why the CCP hasn't been able to mount a cutting edge national semiconductor industry of its own (it can produce mature nodes and legacy tech in spades at this point) after more than three decades is because it has been choked off from or denied access to the materials, machinery, equipment, software and services required to raise one.
     
  2. Deorum Double Yellow Card Double Yellow Card

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    To give more of an idea of the insane level of high technology we're talking about here in regards to a couple of the aforementioned industry leading western companies in the OP.

    [​IMG]

    http://www.brookings.edu/techstream...e-at-the-center-of-chinese-dual-use-concerns/

    An extreme ultraviolet lithography machine is a technological marvel. A generator ejects 50,000 tiny droplets of molten tin per second. A high-powered laser blasts each droplet twice. The first shapes the tiny tin, so the second can vaporize it into plasma. The plasma emits extreme ultraviolet (EUV) radiation that is focused into a beam and bounced through a series of mirrors. The mirrors are so smooth that if expanded to the size of Germany they would not have a bump higher than a millimeter. Finally, the EUV beam hits a silicon wafer—itself a marvel of materials science—with a precision equivalent to shooting an arrow from Earth to hit an apple placed on the moon.

    This allows the EUV machine to draw transistors into the wafer with features measuring only five nanometers—approximately the length your fingernail grows in five seconds. This wafer with billions or trillions of transistors is eventually made into computer chips. An EUV machine is made of more than 100,000 parts, costs approximately $120 million, and is shipped in 40 freight containers. There are only several dozen of them on Earth and approximately two years’ worth of back orders for more. It might seem unintuitive that the demand for a $120 million tool far outstrips supply, but only one company can make them. It’s a Dutch company called ASML, which nearly exclusively makes lithography machines for chip manufacturing.

    EUV machines are at the frontier of human technological capabilities. China has virtually no lithography experience or industry. Any Chinese firm trying to develop EUV lithography would have to start from scratch. It would have to close the gap with ASML’s billions of dollars, decades of experience, and the accumulated experience and tacit knowledge of their tens of thousands of employees. And it would have to succeed where experienced, billion dollar companies failed. There is little chance a Chinese company will make an EUV lithography machine in the foreseeable future.


    [​IMG]

    Applied Materials, Inc. is an American corporation that supplies equipment, software and services for the manufacturing of semiconductor (integrated circuit) chips, flat panel displays for computers, smartphones and televisions, and solar products. The company develops and manufactures equipment used in the wafer fabrication steps of creating a semiconductor device, including atomic layer deposition (ALD), chemical vapor deposition (CVD), physical vapor deposition (PVD), rapid thermal processing (RTP), chemical mechanical polishing (CMP), and ion implantation.

     
  3. Cole train Gold Belt

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    Dont think anything will happen yet.

    Then again didnt see ukraine coming either
     
  4. Fake Doctor Yellow Card Yellow Card

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    How big an investment would be required for other nations to create the production facilities and equipment that Taiwan has, and what kind of time lag would we be looking at? I know Intel is investing in getting this stuff stateside and that's billions upon billions. It seems quite plausible that you're right, that the intellectual properties are the lynchpin of this whole thing, but the actual manufacturing side seems like something to rival a comprehensive space program for amount of investment required.
     
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  5. superking Poet — Traveler — Soldier of Fortune

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    How is TSMC's complex in Phoenix coming along? I haven't read anything about it in a while.

    They were 6 months into the build last September.
     
  6. AWilder Black Belt

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    i would think the investment is in the billions. the machinery is relatively cheap at hundreds of millions but, you need to set it up, dial it in for the accuracy mentioned in the op, train people to use it properly, train people to maintain it properly, build support facilities around it, and i imagine it's is demanding of support needing specific temperatures, humidity levels, isolation, etc. in order to be so precise. Then you need material production, where's the silicon and tin coming from, is it the correct purity, etc.? That's just scratching the surface, imo.
     
  7. Rational Poster Actually the Best Poster

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    A few boatloads of anti-ship missiles to the island and China isn't going to come close to it this century.
     
  8. CaptHANDSUP Brown Belt

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    i think US may actually bomb the TSMC factories if it came to it, there is no way they’re going to let the ccp get their hands on so many fabs. They’d hold the semiconductor world supply hostage.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2022
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  9. dirtypablo Black Belt

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    Easily in the billions, and it's not like you can just get these machines off the shelf. They're generally built on receipt of a PO, and with current part shortages, everyone in the industry is way behind on deliverables. Facilities are complicated to get up and running in terms of exhaust and supply lines, but then you've also got the whole problem of the fabs automation itself - FOUP movement and getting all the machines up and connected to the host system interface. (I write software that runs a specific type of tool used in the industry)

    That said, I would guess finding the people qualified to do all this might be the biggest lag. This stuff is all highly complicated and requires huge teams of highly specialized engineers and scientists.
     
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  10. Deorum Double Yellow Card Double Yellow Card

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    There's a massive undertaking underway to shift more production (back) into the United States including from Samsung and TSMC. Intel already has the majority its fabs located stateside (see below) but they are in-house manufacturing plants for its own chip designs. It is attempting to expand into TSMC's principle business of foundry services to manufacture the chips of other companies as well.



    [​IMG]

    There was serious capital thrown down last Summer.

    [​IMG]

    Big Dick Style.

     
  11. Rob Battisti HR for HR

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    It can’t be overstated. It’s just about the only country in the world I would support the US getting involved in protecting militarily.
     
  12. skysolo Gold Belt

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    Why?
     
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  13. SanchoMF Equally Useless

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    Until the US has enough homegrown chip manufacturing, they'll protect Taiwan.
     
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  14. Rob Battisti HR for HR

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    The economic and strategic importance of the semiconductor industry in Taiwan. That can’t be allowed to be disrupted as the economic damage would be enormously crippling. If China took it over, we would never be able to rely on their chips. Until we supplant Taiwan’s manufacturing power, they are too strategically important to fall into the hands of China.
     
  15. skysolo Gold Belt

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    So, business.

    This is America where profit over people reigns supreme.
     
  16. SandisLL Red Belt

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    This is in all countries.
    Even the same imports from China...if there might be a bit better profit if business is buying and selling this, then...
    Doesn't matters are you in U.S, Europe or in Russia.
    The same in all areas...
     
  17. Rob Battisti HR for HR

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    Not business. Our entire economy is built upon Taiwanese Semiconductors.
     
  18. SandisLL Red Belt

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    No.
    However yeah, we too much ceded manufacturing to be done in china etc areas.
    We all; europe, russia ( yes!) and U.S ofc too.
    Now we are getting our lessons...
     
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  19. skysolo Gold Belt

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    I haven't lived in other countries. I have lived in America where we step over homeless people to go to high class galas. America is profit over people even if you want to say other countries do it too which has nothing to do with why America does it.
     
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  20. skysolo Gold Belt

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    This is exactly business. The economy is part of it.

    So business and profit greater than people. You don't even care about the people of Taiwan only their semiconductor making capabilities. If their biggest export was oranges, you would say "meh".
     
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