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TSMC founder upbeat about long-term prospects for IC industry

2018/12/19 20:54:39

TSMC founder Morris Chang

Taipei, Dec. 19 (CNA) Morris Chang (張忠謀), the founder of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), has expressed optimism toward the integrated circuit industry in the long run in the wake of emerging technologies.

In an interview with the Chinese-language Economic Daily News dated Wednesday, Chang said there are emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and 5G, and these tech innovations cannot be isolated from the computing IC serves as a base for.

Chang said that due to the continued need for computing, he remained upbeat about the semiconductor industry, adding that no matter what new devices are made on these emerging technologies, IC demand is expected to remain solid in the long term.

For TSMC, Chang said, as long as the company continues to do its best in research and development and roll out competitive products, there is no need to worry that the chipmaker will lose business.

Chang is known as the "father of semiconductors" in the global integrated circuit industry for founding and building TSMC into the world's largest semiconductor foundry operator, with a more-than 50 percent share of the pure-play foundry market.

After serving as chairman of TSMC for 30-odd years, Chang retired from the company in June, but the market still pays close attention to his opinions about the semiconductor industry and the economy.

As for AI applications, Chang said the new technology is expected to change the way people live in an even more powerful manner than the Internet, which made its debut 25 years ago.

He predicted that many jobs will be taken over by AI, leaving many people jobless and widening the wealth gap, and he urged governments and education institutions to work together to tackle the problem.

Commenting on the on-going trade friction between the United States and China, Chang said the dispute is just the beginning of the confrontation between the two countries. Chang likened the conflict to the "Thucydides Trap" theory: When a rising power causes fear in an established power, which escalates toward war.

He said it is necessary for the leaders in Washington and Beijing to employ wisdom to resolve the dispute in a bid to prevent a deteriorating situation.

(By Chang Chien-chung and Frances Huang)