TSMC’s Central Role in the Global Chip Industry
Taiwan’s most valuable company is a repository of unique industrial expertise. Competitors in China and elsewhere are attempting to either replicate or acquire it.
With a market capitalization of over $420 billion, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) is the most valuable semiconductor company in the world as of January 2023.1 Unlike its two closest competitors at the technological cutting edge—South Korea’s Samsung and the United States’ Intel—TSMC does not design any computer chips of its own, but only manufactures designs for other companies, including key customers like Apple and Nvidia. TSMC singlehandedly dominates the global market for contract manufacturing of chips, with a share of global revenue consistently over 50% since late 2019, making TSMC by far the world’s largest dedicated semiconductor foundry.2 Moreover, TSMC’s market share increases with chip sophistication, reportedly manufacturing over 90% of the most advanced chips on the market.3