TSMC could quickly fill any order gap should U.S. restrictions against Huawei prevent sales of chips to the Chinese firm, the company’s chairman said on Tuesday.
TSMC’s clients include Huawei’s chip division HiSilicon. But, the U.S. blacklisting of Huawei over security concerns has left the world’s biggest contract chipmaker exposed to diplomatic developments between China, Taiwan, and the U.S.
The company last month unveiled plans for a $12 billion plant in the United States just hours before the U.S. Commerce Department outlined a proposal to amend chip export rules – a move that would restrict TSMC’s sales to Huawei.
Asked at an annual general meeting whether TSMC could fill the order gap left by HiSilicon if the amendment is adopted, TSMC Chairman Mark Liu said, “We hope that won’t happen”.
“But if it does, we will replace it in a very short time,” he said in the northern Taiwanese city of Hsinchu, where the Apple Inc and Qualcomm Inc supplier is based… Analysts estimate TSMC generates around 60% of revenue from the United States and 20% from China.
TSMC is still in talks with the U.S. government about subsidies for its new plant to make up for cost differences between Taiwan and the United States, and while the plant will not have direct dealings with the military, some clients might be military suppliers, he said. Liu was upbeat on overall tech demand, even as the coronavirus outbreak has ravaged the global economy. “Everyone can see that iPhone sales are still pretty good.”
MacDailyNews Take: Apple-designed ARM-based 5nm Mac processors stamped by TSMC will certainly help fill the gap!