As we all know, since September 15, 2020, Huawei Kirin chip has become the last song.
Why? Because of the US crackdown on Huawei, any chip maker that uses US technology/equipment needs a US license to supply Huawei.
And TSMC's chip manufacturing equipment uses a lot of American equipment/technology, so TSMC must have a license to make chips for Huawei, but TSMC didn't get this license, so it can't do contract manufacturing.
In fact, in May 2020, TSMC also made a decision to build a factory in the United States. TSMC planned to build a contract factory including a 5nm chip production line in Arizona, the United States. At the time, the planned investment was $12 billion.
At the time, it was understood by many that TSMC might be looking to do a deal in which it would invest $12bn to build a factory in the US in return for a licence to make chips for Huawei.
Whether this is the case, of course, is not clear to any of us, and this is just one analysis, or speculation.
But now, three years later, instead of building a $12 billion plant for the original 5nm process, TSMC plans to build another 3nm process for a total investment of $40 billion. But until now, TSMC has not obtained a contract manufacturing license for Huawei.
However, some industry analysts said that TSMC ran to the United States to build a plant, and want to take the license has nothing to do with the simple is to meet the requirements of the United States, dare not too much against the United States, after all, TSMC needs ASML lithography machine, need American equipment, American EDA, but also need Japanese materials, equipment, and these are controlled in the hands of the United States.
The United States has repeatedly "invited" Taiwan Semiconductor to build factories in the United States, before Chang refused many times, but now the situation is different, Taiwan Semiconductor has to accept.
But to be honest, it was a mistake for TSMC to build a plant in the US as things are now, because the cost of building a plant in the US is too high, according to the media, the cost of building a plant is 1-3 times higher than in Taiwan.
After completion, operating costs will be more than 50 percent higher than in Taiwan, so a factory in the United States may not make money, but will have to be subsidized by profits elsewhere.
At the same time, from the current situation, it is impossible for TSMC to get this contract manufacturing license for Huawei, let alone invest 40 billion US dollars, or even 400 billion US dollars, and Huawei's chip problem can only be solved by the domestic supply chain, don't you think?