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TSMC Doesn't Want to Make Its Chips in the US

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What a surprise: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp. (TSMC) reportedly doesn't want to shift production of its chips to the U.S., despite a request from the American government's apparent desire for semiconductors to be made on home territory so they're harder to compromise.

According to Bloomberg, TSMC chairman Mark Liu said at a tech forum in Hsinchu, Taiwan that the company "aims to resolve chip security issues by developing new technology to track where chips go and prevent them from being tampered with."

The company doesn't plan to shift production outside Taiwan, however, because making its products in the U.S. would cost too much. TSMC has established factories in its home country; it would effectively have to start from scratch in the U.S. Bloomberg reported that TSMC "did not hear directly from the Pentagon about U.S. production."

That's also a big ask for a company that, Digitimes said last month, reportedly already told its 7nm process customers they need to place their final orders for the entirety of 2020 because it can't make enough chips to keep up with demand.

Liu did say TSMC plans to establish a new R&D center in Hsinchu, though, where the company "will conduct research on critical semiconductor materials beyond silicon." The center's expected to accommodate 8,000 engineers devoted to the project.

The message was clear: TSMC's going to continue to invest in its home country rather than shifting production to the U.S. to assuage fears that its chips aren't secure enough for the U.S. government. Taiwan--it's right there in the name.