As the world’s most advanced semiconductor manufacturing company, almost all top-ranked technology companies in the world are seeking cooperation with it. Apple has continued to lead in process technology, and Apple has always been TSMC’s largest customer. Although the semiconductor industry in the Mainland started late but has developed rapidly, many people are very curious about how much investment will be needed to rebuild a TSMC in the Mainland?
IC Insights, a well-known chip research company in the industry, has calculated an account for various countries. To catch up with TSMC, it will take five years and an annual investment of 30 billion US dollars. The total cost is 150 billion US dollars, which is almost 1 trillion yuan. The expenses are so incredible that ordinary enterprises simply cannot cultivate.
Take the most famous domestic companies, such as Alibaba, for example. In 2020, Alibaba will become the world’s first company with platform sales of more than US$1 trillion, but its net profit for fiscal year 2020 is only 149.263 billion yuan. In other words, Alibaba can use all its profits for the next 6.5 years to burn a TSMC at the financial level.
In terms of technology and high-end equipment, the dilemma is actually even greater. SMIC is one of the most realistic examples. It was labeled as a sanction by the United States, and its most advanced process technology was restricted. Recently, only a relatively backward DUV lithography machine has been spent on the purchase of 1.2 billion US dollars, which cannot meet the requirements of 7nm and more advanced processes.
More realistically, while we are desperately catching up, advanced technology companies such as TSMC are also investing heavily in maintaining their advantages. It is reported that the capital expenditure in 2021 will be further increased to 25-28 billion U.S. dollars, of which 15 billion U.S. dollars will be used to prepare the 3nm process for mass production next year. Now TSMC’s 3nm process is on the way.
Not only TSMC, South Korea’s Samsung is also constantly increasing in semiconductor manufacturing. IC Insights pointed out that the combined capital expenditures of TSMC and Samsung will reach at least US$55.5 billion this year. Such a huge investment is unmatched by other companies. Now that it has reached a key point, TSMC and Samsung are expected to once again widen the gap with their competitors.
So the rise of the mainland semiconductor industry is not just a question of money, of course money is indeed very important.