It is most often used in contemporary electronics, such as transistors and diodes.
Diodes are used in devices such as LEDs and inverters/alternators that convert AC to DC. Transistors are utilized in power electronics, computer processors, and switches.
Semiconductors are also known as "semiconductors," "chips," "microchips," and "computer chips."
Consider how you'd get by without your phone, tablet, computer, or any of the other smart gadgets available today.
In an increasingly connected world, we rely on these gadgets not only for sociability and enjoyment, but also for work, education, and information collecting.
It's difficult to imagine how we'd get by without our current gadgets.
Semiconductors—small chips that carry electricity—power most of these ever-important electronics.
Semiconductors have become more powerful throughout time while simultaneously getting cheaper and smaller.
They play a crucial role in not just powering our gadgets but also ensuring that AI functions properly (artificial intelligence).
Semiconductors are increasingly being used in automobiles and homes.
Companies that make semiconductors continue to expand at a constant rate, despite the rise and invention of new technology.
Despite the numerous challenges posed by COVID
-19, semiconductor businesses are predicted to develop at a
CAGR of at least 4
-5 percent each year by 2027. When compared to the overall 2019 revenues of these firms, that's a forecasted rise of about 315 billion dollars.
So, who are the primary manufacturers of these critical devices?
To help answer that question, we've compiled a list of the top 10 semiconductor businesses in the world, ranked by total revenue in 2020.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.
SK Hynix Inc
Texas Instruments Inc.
Consider Apple, Qualcomm, NVIDIA, and a slew of other companies.
As these fantastic firms grew, TSMC found itself on a fast track, producing an increasing percentage of the world's chips.
And as a result, TSM has not only caught up, but has surpassed Intel to become the world's best manufacturing technology, and is now one of the top ten most valuable firms on the planet in terms of market capitalization.
In 1994, TSMC became the first Taiwanese company to be listed on the stock market.
It was the first Taiwanese firm to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 1997.
It had caught up to the 20 or so other businesses developing the most sophisticated semiconductors at the time by the early 2000s.
As technology improved, more and more manufacturers fell behind, until only TSMC and Samsung remain capable of producing the most modern five-nanometer chips.
Apple began relying on TSMC to manufacture its Aseries semiconductors
for the iPhone in 2013, as it shifted away from Samsung, a direct rival in the mobile phone market.
To date, every iPhone on the market contains a TSMC chip.
Apple has also moved away from Intel, relying on TSMC for the majority of its devices' CPUs.
They do, though, sort of fade into the backdrop.
So, when a new phone is out, Apple receives all the praise.
We let our products do the talking.
Their success offers us all the business we could ever want.
Why hasn't TSMC allowed American media into its sights before now?
Is there any connection between IP and secrecy?
Yes, since intellectual property protection is critical in this business, not only for TSMC but also for the other firms involved.
Chang stepped down as chairman of TSMC in 2018 at the age of 86.
His unique pureplay foundry concept is still paying dividends.
With the commissioning of a new fab in Taiwan next year, TSMC will be competing with Samsung to produce the world's first three-nanometer chips, with Intel aiming for 2025.
TSMC produces significantly bigger chips for everything from autos to coffee makers, in addition to cutting-
edge three and fivenanometer processors.
Let's look at how chips are created to better understand the many types of chips and why nanometers are important.
Silicon, which is prevalent in rocks and sand, is cleaned and heated before being cut into circular wafers.
These wafers are the grid-like surfaces on which
semiconductors are made.
Hundreds of small layers, each made up of transistors and electrical circuits, may be found on each chip on the wafer, determining what the chip can perform.
Lithography, which uses incredibly accurate beams of light, is used to print the tiny circuits on each layer.
The narrower the transistor gate width, such as five nanometers or three nanometers, the more computing power may be packed into a given space while using less power.
The tiniest transistors are 10,000 times the width of a human hair.
The majority of the chips are likely the size of my thumbnail.
There might be 50 billion or more transistors there, and they all have to operate.
These are components that will be employed in a variety of applications, such as CPUs, GPUs, and IPUs.
Smartphones will make advantage of them.
Most domestic products, such as a TV remote or an electric toothbrush, employ larger chips.
Cars frequently employ 28-to-40-nanometer chips,
which are less sophisticated.
GM and Toyota have halted production at several of their sites.
Apple is also lowering its iPhone 13 manufacturing objectives for 2021, with orders for the 13 Pro Max being delayed by more than a month.
No fab in the United States can currently produce five
, but TSMC is working to change that.
Their client base is diverse, thanks to the F-35 Strike Fighter and these consumer
In the United States, they have more than 500 clients.
As a result, we knew they'd have to come to the United States at some time.
During the five years that Chris Camacho of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council was helping to negotiate the agreement that brought the project to Arizona, he was able to visit TSMC's fabs in Taiwan.
Robotics, automation, and mechanization are all happening right in front of your eyes, and you can see how these things are not just capital intensive, but also produce a large amount of output.
TSMC is six months into construction of this enormous five-nanometer fab s
outh of Phoenix, which is expected to start producing 20,000 wafers per month in 2024.
The wafers' chips will be used in iPhones, high-end CPUs
, and other devices.
In his 23 years with TSMC, Arizona project leader Tony Chen has managed 17 other fab building projects.
This idea is really intended for a five-nanometer fab.
It's a knockoff of the fab in Taiwan.
Intel is now investing $20 billion on the construction of two new fabs just down the road.
These gigantic structures, which were built to create tiny chips, have attracted some of the world's biggest machinery to Arizona.
Manitowoc manufactures the largest crane in the world.
There are just two of them left in the world.
It's a crane that weighs 2,300 tones.
Our dirt contractors have transported over 3,731,000 cubic yards of dirt since we began.
In addition, we've utilized more than 260 million gallons of water.
Indeed, constructing a fab and producing chips requires a tremendous quantity of water, which is difficult to come by in the midst of the desert.
Groundwater is Arizona's primary source of water.
Deep wells on large farms, on the other hand, are depleting groundwater faster than it is replenished naturally.
The production requires around 4.7 million gallons of water each day.
Water scarcity is nothing new to TSMC.
Taiwan is experiencing its worst drought in 56 years, yet TSMC claims that this has had no effect on output.
TSMC claims that an onsite water treatment plant in Arizona will recycle up to 90% of the water utilized at the fab.
After reverse osmosis and other technical solutions are supplied, the water will be reinjected into the aquifer in collaboration with the city of Phoenix.
Another obstacle to creating the most advanced chips in the United States is that the present experts are all based in Asia.
TSM's greatest engineers are currently stationed in Taiwan.
They'll most likely remain in Taiwan.
Taiwan will do the most cutting-edge research and development.
TSMC is bringing over some of its top professionals from Taiwan to fix this, according to recruiter Roxanna Vega.
In our fabs over there, they're regarded as subject matter experts in what they do.
As a result, it will be a two- or three-year temporary job
TSMC has already dispatched 300 new recruits from the United States to Taiwan for a 12- to 18-
month training period.
Additionally, the chance to train in our five-
nanometer gigafab in Taiwan will give them an understanding of how huge and cutting-edge our tools,
machines, and other equipment will be here in Arizona.
When it comes to analog semiconductor design, Taiwan isn't particularly good.
They'd also be able to tap into a considerably greater number of analog designers if they moved to the United States.
This diversification is one of the main reasons for TSMC's decision to move advanced production to the United States.
Then there's the proximity to its massive, fabless clients in the United States, like as Apple, Nvidia, and Qualcomm.
You'll need extra fobs if you want greater capacity.
That is one of the reasons we are relocating to the United States.
Our consumers and the US government both want us in the country.
Over 60% of their customers are still based in the United States.
As a result, several of these corporations, such as Apple, have intimated that, just in case, they would want their supplier to be closer to home.
TSMC has 12 manufacturing facilities, practically all of them are located in Taiwan and China.
They are responsible for almost 54% of all worldwide foundry revenue.
And the world's dependence on TSMC makes it exposed to future slowdowns caused by earthquakes, the present drought in Taiwan, or geopolitical tensions between the United States, China, and Taiwan.
TSMC is also referred to as Taiwan's silicon shield.
And I believe that people rely on us.
The media portrays this scenario in a very negative light.
But I'm actually feeling a lot better, thanks to this concept: the semiconductor shield.
China, for the time being, requires them for its cutting-
he United States also relies significantly on Taiwanese chips, which is one of the reasons the government fought so hard to persuade TSMC to move its technology here.
We won't have to be concerned about geopolitical strife.
There won't be another large epidemic to worry about.
This type of production capability will be available on American soil.
Only 12% of the world's semiconductors are produced in the United States now.
This is a decrease from 37% in 1990.
We were probably 100 percent back in the days of Bell Labs and the early days of Silicon Valley.
Both state and federal governments are keen to persuade TSMC to return to the nation where advanced silicon initially gained traction.
The qualified facility tax credit and the quality jobs tax credit are two initiatives offered by the state of Arizona that are designed to assist businesses cut their operating costs.
In addition, the city of Phoenix has put up a $200 million infrastructure package to assist TSMC in obtaining water and other necessary infrastructure.
The Biden administration has offered $52 billion in incentives to semiconductor firms like TSMC to encourage them to produce on American soil.
The "CHIPS Act" is how it's being dubbed.
This is a piece of infrastructure.
So, here's the deal: we need to develop today's infrastructure.
not the one that was shattered the day before.
And legislation like the CHIPS Act is vital for our country's prosperity, not just in competing, but also in attracting these kind of businesses to operate in the United States.
We'll have to import chips for the rest of our lives if we don't do something.
We've quietly lapsed on the manufacturing part over the previous 20, 30, or 40 years, especially as other nations' costs have decreased.
Producing semiconductors outside of the United States is less expensive for American companies.
Rick Cassidy of TSMC was involved in the deliberations that resulted to the CHIPS Act.
We just want to equalize the playing field so that making chips in the United States does not cost more than it does in other countries.
According to industry projections, a $50 billion investment from the US government would allow the building of 19 additional fabs in the US over the next ten years, more than tripling the country's chip production capacity.
Similar expenditures are being made throughout the world as the scarcity worsens.
SEMI estimates that 72 new fabs or large expansions will be operational by 2024, with 10 of them in North and South America.
Throughout the last two or three years, I've heard more investment announcements than I have in my whole life.
In the next ten years, Korea will invest $450 billion.
Around $150 billion in investments have been announced by the EU.
And, based on that, we believe that by the end of next year, the chip scarcity should be alleviated.
But, in the meanwhile, as demand grows, TSMC is hiking chip costs by as much as 20%, a cost that will trickle down to consumer electronics pricing.
If required, TSMC has always been able to charge a premium.
And the majority of their clients are aware of the reason behind this.
They are prepared to pay for it.
Meanwhile, TSMC will undoubtedly continue to spend in expanding manufacturing capacity, notably in the United States, where the 1,100-acre Arizona facility has
ample potential for a second phase and beyond.
As a result, we have a lot of land.
And we have the potential to accomplish far more.
It'll take some time.
It's not just the chips or the foundries, though.
The supply chain as a whole will be affected.
So it's the packaging industry.
Chemicals and gases used in the manufacturing process are produced by businesses.
As a result, I see this as the start of a major transition in the semiconductor industry in the United States.
As you can see, when everything is in one place, we may get into a lot of difficulty.
So I believe that seeing the United States reverse the reductions that we've experienced over the previous few decades would be a huge achievement.
List of the top 10 semiconductor businesses in the world, by market cap.
|Ticker||Company Name||Sector||Market Cap (Billions)*|
|INTC||Intel Corporation||Semiconductor - Broad Line||$241.88|
|NVDA||NVIDIA Corporation||Semiconductor - Specialized||$152.88|
|TXN||Texas Instruments Incorporated||Semiconductor - Broad Line||$113.83|
|MU||Micron Technology, Inc.||Semiconductor - Memory Chips||$63.52|
|ADI||Analog Devices, Inc.||Semiconductor - Integrated Circuits||$36.39|
|MCHP||Microchip Technology Incorporated||Semiconductor - Broad Line||$22.31|
|SWKS||Skyworks Solutions, Inc.||Semiconductor - Integrated Circuits||$18.56|
|MXIM||Maxim Integrated Products, Inc.||Semiconductor - Broad Line||$17.22|
|XLNX||Xilinx, Inc.||Semiconductor - Integrated Circuits||$17.22|
|AMD||Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.||Semiconductor - Broad Line||$16.35|
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