Morris Chang founded Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited in 1987. The company was founded as and remains to this day the world's leading pure-play semiconductor foundry. A semiconductor foundry manufactures semiconductors for other companies at their specification; clients of Taiwan Semiconductor include but are not limited to Advanced Micro Devices, Apple, NVIDIA and Broadcom. Even some semiconductor manufacturers with their own production facilities, such as Intel and Texas Instruments, use Taiwan Semiconductor to some degree.
This model aims to ensure Taiwan Semiconductor remains relevant to the semiconductor industry while never competing with its customers. The company’s mission statement says it all “to be the trusted technology and capacity provider of the global logic IC (integrated circuit) industry for years to come.”
The company has been traded on the Taiwan stock exchange since 1993 and the New York Stock Exchange in 1997. Taiwan Semiconductor is the 2nd most valuable semiconductor company on the market and is only supplanted by Nvidia, a primary customer. In regard to its growth, the stock has grown revenue and earnings by better than 15% annually for investors since its IPO.
The company operates a network of foundries throughout Taiwan. As of 2022, there seven operations foundries and 2 in the works, including 1 in Arizona and 1 in Japan. The Arizona plant will be operational by 2024 and will begin manufacturing with the 3 nm processes.
With these, Taiwan Semiconductor can manufacture nearly 15 million 300 mm wafers per year. The company’s capabilities include process nodes ranging from 2 microns to 4nm. The company also packages, tests, and markets integrated circuits, semiconductor devices and related services internationally. The company’s products include logic, mixed-signal, RF and embedded memory chips.
Taiwan Semiconductor has been focused on maintaining its leading position right from the start. To that end, the company tends to reinvest large amounts of capital to increase and expand production as well as in the advancement of semiconductor technology.
Among the company’s many advancements are the development of N7+ and then N5 and down to the current standard of N4. These technologies were the first commercially available extreme ultraviolet lithography processes. This technology allows for smaller circuitry on the microchip and increases the chip's transistor density and overall functioning. Areas of research are centered on 4 disciplines that include Logic, Interconnect, Memory and Artificial Intelligence. Specific avenues for research include transistor structure, ferroelectrics and on and off-chip interconnect systems.
Taiwan Semiconductor's revenue topped $57 billion in 2021. The company manufactured 12,302 different semiconductor devices that year, using 291 different technologies for 535 clients. Its products are used in mobile devices, telecommunications, automobiles, manufacturing and consumer technology, to name a few end markets.
The company employs more than 65,000 people and is committed to the shift to green energy and sustainability. To that end, it became the 1st semiconductor company to make the RE100 pledge which states it will use 100% renewable energy by the year 2050.