Commentary: Taiwan dominates the world’s provide of pc chips – no marvel the US is frightened

NOTTINGHAM, England: One side of Nancy Pelosi’s journey to Taiwan that has been largely neglected is her assembly with Mark Lui, chairman of the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC).

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Pelosi’s journey coincided with US efforts to persuade TSMC – the world’s largest chip producer, on which the US is closely dependent – to determine a producing base within the US and to cease making superior chips for Chinese language firms.

US assist for Taiwan has traditionally been based mostly on Washington’s opposition to communist rule in Beijing, and Taiwan’s resistance to absorption by China. However lately, Taiwan’s autonomy has turn into an important geopolitical curiosity for the US as a result of of the island’s dominance of the semiconductor manufacturing market.

Semiconductors – additionally often known as pc chips or simply chips – are integral to all of the networked units which have turn into embedded into our lives. In addition they have superior army functions.

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Transformational, super-fast 5G Web emerged is enabling a world of linked units of all types (the Web of Issues) and a brand new era of networked weapons. With this in thoughts, US officers started to grasp in the course of the Trump administration that US semiconductor design firms, similar to Intel, have been closely depending on Asian-based provide chains for the manufacturing of their merchandise.

Specifically, Taiwan’s place on the planet of semiconductor manufacturing is a bit like Saudi Arabia’s standing in OPEC. TSMC has a 53 per cent market share of the world foundry market (factories contracted to make chips designed in different nations). Different Taiwan-based producers declare an additional 10 per cent of the market.

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