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TSMC ‘Expediting’ Auto Products Amid Chip Shortage

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) is “expediting” auto-related merchandise by means of its wafer fabs and reallocating wafer capability, the corporate mentioned on Thursday, amid a worldwide scarcity of auto chips.

Automakers world wide are shutting meeting strains because of the shortages, which in some circumstances have been exacerbated by the previous US administration’s actions towards Chinese chip factories.

On Wednesday, Taiwan’s economic system minister mentioned main Taiwanese chipmakers had been keen to prioritise provides for auto makers, after she met senior firm executives together with from TSMC.

In an announcement, TSMC mentioned it was addressing the chip provide “challenges” as their prime precedence.

“The automotive supply chain is long and complex and we have worked with our automotive customers and identified their critical needs,” the world’s largest contract chipmaker mentioned.

“TSMC is currently expediting these critical automotive products through our wafer fabs. While our capacity is fully utilised with demand from every sector, TSMC is reallocating our wafer capacity to support the worldwide automotive industry.”

In 2020, auto chips accounted just for 3 % of TSMC’s gross sales, lagging smartphones’ 48 % and 33 % for high-performance chips.

In the fourth quarter, gross sales for TSMC’s auto chips jumped 27 % from the earlier quarter, however nonetheless solely accounted for 3 % of general gross sales.

The problem has change into a diplomatic one, with German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier writing to his Taiwanese counterpart Wang Mei-hua to ask her for assist in addressing it.

Wang mentioned the opposite corporations whose executives she met had been from United Microelectronics Corp (UMC), Powerchip Semiconductor Manufacturing, and Vanguard International Semiconductor.

UMC Co-President Jason Wang, talking on an investor name late Wednesday, mentioned their fabs had been additionally working at a 100 % utilisation charge and that they had been making an attempt to handle the auto chip scarcity.

“It’s hard to increase the capacity. It’s more about re-prioritising. Prioritising the automotive market, so hopefully we can relieve some of the pressure,” he mentioned.

“Some of the capacity increase will come from productivity improvement and for those the priority will probably be allocated to automotive at the current time.”

UMC doesn’t break down particulars for auto chips when it comes to how a lot it makes up for in manufacturing or income publicity.

The scarcity has affected Volkswagen, Ford Motor, Subaru, Toyota Motor, Nissan Motor, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, and different automobile makers.

© Thomson Reuters 2021


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