In a capital-intensive industries such as the semiconductor manufacturing, the costs of pathfinding, research, development, and manufacturing are becoming extremely high. Historically, local or municipal governments have helped to build semiconductor production facilities leaving development of process technologies to actual producers. Apparently, the semiconductor production industry has reached a point when it might need some help with R&D itself as well as business development.The Costs of FabsCompanies like Intel, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. and Samsung Electronics disclose capital expenditure plans that usually total tens of billions of dollars as one modern semiconductor manufacturing facility today costs well over $10 billion. For example, one of TSMC’s fabs can cost as much as $19.5 billion. From one point of view, the costs of these fabs are enormous. Yet, they are not. Nowadays humanity consumes so many semiconductor-based electronics devices that their number well pays off the costs of fabs. Meanwhile, demand for chips is only going to increase. Historically, the governments supported chip manufacturing using various incentives, which is why AMD (and then GlobalFoundries) built fabs in Dresden and in New York; Intel built its fabs in the U.S., Israel, and Ireland; whereas TSMC became the world’s largest foundry owning fabs only in Taiwan. The… Read full this story
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