TSMC will manage to create new businesses in the US without subsidies, but the problem will be a shortage of human resources

TSMC will manage to create new businesses in the US without subsidies, but the problem will be a sho

Intel's CEO Patrick Gelsinger likes to repeat that his company would start building new businesses in the US and without government support, but subsidies would help to do it faster. TSMC reached an agreement with the former U.S. authorities to build a business in Arizona without guarantees of financial support, and therefore, if necessary, it could also be done on its own.

This view was expressed in an interview with DigitalTimes, Richard Turston, who led the TSMC Legal Service for 15 years. The extent of the investment that the company has made in technology and its own production base over the past decades is significantly higher than the $52 billion that the US authorities are willing to provide to support the national semiconductor industry. Of this, no more than $39 billion would directly finance the construction of enterprises to major players in the Intel, Mikron, Samsung and the same TSMC market, such financial support would not provide any radical benefits, and companies with a smaller size of subsidies could depend much more heavily.

Let us not forget that US authorities allocate their funds on certain terms to grantees, in particular, that they should not expand their production of 28 nm chips in China and other unfriendly countries over a decade. If the combination of these conditions makes it inappropriate to receive US subsidies, TSMC may well abandon them for greater freedom of action, and build a business in the United States at the expense of its own leverage, especially since the company has so far developed successfully from such sources of financing.

Newcomers, according to Turston, are not going to be much help in organizing chip production in the United States, and it's going to cost billions of dollars a year to build a business, so only experienced market players are likely to succeed.

Another infrastructure problem for the U.S. could be the human hunger in hiring productive personnel. In the 1980s, the U.S. had more than 200 companies that had not only developed but also released their chips throughout the country. The education system was then oriented towards the maintenance of such infrastructure. In the future, the emphasis shifted towards the development of software, and it is now possible to find just over 12 companies in the U.S. that not only produce chips but also produce them on their own. The market for educational services has also changed accordingly.

Even if targeted subsidies allow companies to train a sufficient number of professionals, some of them will end up working for a different kind of company rather than for production. Turston believes that the production infrastructure in the United States should develop to at least Taiwan, so that students can be deliberately trained in productive skills and want to work in the future. The industry, according to a TSMC veteran, should accumulate a critical mass of factors to help attract human resources, especially since even in Taiwan, the company is currently facing a shortage of professionals.