Tensions between the US and China are causing some manufacturers to discuss moving some of their supply chain away from Taiwan, although the pace is “incremental,” Reuters reported yesterday, citing MediaTek Inc (聯發科) chief executive officer Rick Tsai (蔡力行).
Some of the “very large [equipment manufacturers] will require their chip suppliers to have multiple sources, like from Taiwan and from US, or from Germany or from Europe,” Reuters quoted Tsai as saying on the sidelines of a media and analyst event the Taiwanese handset chip designer hosted in California on Friday.
“I think in those cases, we will have to find multiple sources for the same chip if the business warrants that,” Tsai said.
Photo: Ann Wang, Reuters
Reuters said MediaTek’s most advanced smartphone chips are made at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s (TSMC, 台積電) plants in Taiwan, with some older smartphone chips being made by GlobalFoundries Inc in the US and Singapore.
The company in July announced that it had formed a strategic partnership with Intel Corp to manufacture chips using the US company’s matured process technology.
With TSMC constructing a US$12 billion plant in Arizona, MediaTek would also be producing chips there when it begins production, Tsai said.
However, he cautioned that it was not realistic for the semiconductor industry to move completely away from Taiwan, which produces most of the world’s advanced semiconductors, Reuters said.
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