TSMC to submit comments to the U.S. on microchip supply chain

10/22/2021 11:15 PM
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CNA file photo
CNA file photo

Taipei, Oct. 22 (CNA) The world's largest contract chipmaker, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), will submit its comments to the United States in response to Washington's request for chipmakers to provide information on the semiconductor supply chain by Nov. 8, the company said on Friday.

TSMC will provide the information requested by the U.S. Department of Commerce, it said, stressing that it "has been actively supporting and working with all stakeholders to overcome the global semiconductor supply challenge."

"Looking forward, to increase the demand visibility in this complex supply chain should be the path to avoid such shortage from happening in the future. We have been a strong partner in this effort and will continue taking actions to address this challenge," the chipmaker said.

TSMC's comments came after a U.S. Department of Commerce spokesperson told Reuters on Thursday that it had received indications from several companies that they will supply information.

The companies mentioned include both American and foreign companies, including Intel, General Motors (GM), Infineon of Germany, and SK Hynix of South Korea. TSMC, however, was not mentioned.

Earlier this month, TSMC Vice President in Legal and General Counsel Silvia Fang (方淑華) said the company was still evaluating its response to the request, stressing that it will not disclose confidential information about its clients.

Around the same time, Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua (王美花) had also conveyed Taiwan's concerns over potential confidential leaks resulting from the U.S. administration's request for information, at a meeting with Sandra Oudkirk, director of the American Institute in Taiwan, the de facto U.S. embassy here.

According to the U.S. Commerce Department, it "is seeking responses from interested parties (including domestic and foreign semiconductor design firms, semiconductor manufacturers, materials and equipment suppliers, as well as semiconductor intermediate and end-users) ... with the goal of accelerating information flow across the various segments of the supply chain and identifying data gaps and bottlenecks in the supply chain."

"The ongoing shortages in the semiconductor product supply chain is having an adverse impact on a wide range of industry sectors," according to the Department of Commerce.

The auto sector was one of the industries that has been severely impacted by the semiconductor shortage, with GM cutting production since May because it could not source enough chips.

Industry analysts had attributed that to automakers cutting orders with chipmakers during the earlier period of the COVID-19 pandemic as many people switched to working from home and they predicted fewer vehicle purchases.

Chipmakers then prioritized the orders that did come in, including from laptop makers which saw increased demand from consumers.

TSMC said in May that the company had prioritized boosting automotive chip supply in a bid to ease the shortage.

(By Chang Chien-chung and Kay Liu)


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