TSMC head optimistic about future of semiconductor market

Morris Chang, center, chairman of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing, makes his way to a tech symposium that kicked off the company's 30th anniversary celebrations on Monday, Oct. 23, 2017. Speaking at the event, Chang expressed optimism about the semiconductor industry, predicting a growth rate that will surpass the global GDP. (CNA)

TAIPEI (CNA) – Morris Chang (張忠謀), chairman of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC, 台積電), expressed optimism Monday about the semiconductor industry, predicting a growth rate that will surpass the global GDP.

“I think that the semiconductor market will grow two to three hundred basis points more than the global GDP,” Chang said in a tech symposium that kicked off the company’s 30th anniversary celebrations.

He said that the sector will also see a 4.5 percent-5.5 percent compound annual growth rate, adding that TSMC will perform even better than the sector’s average to reach 5 percent-10 percent.

“Our performance plan is far more than that of the market,” he said during the symposium, titled “Semiconductors: the Next 10 Years.” Other panelists, including Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf, shared the same idea, and said that thanks to the contributions of TSMC, he sees more revolutionary development in the future.

As latency is down and computing power is up on smart devices, the data connected to and stored in the cloud will be more accessible, he said.

“In my mind, this is probably the most exciting time to work in the industry,” according to Mollenkopf.

ARM CEO Simon Segars agreed that the next decade will be data-driven, and cautioned that the industry should pay extra attention to the issues of security and privacy as a result of more accessible information.

Jensen Huang (黃仁達), CEO of graphics-processor company Nvidia Corp., said the major force driving the sector will be artificial intelligence (AI), which will require smart computing made possible by components such as transistors manufactured by TSMC.

Apple Inc. Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams said he believes there will be no more tradeoffs between performance and processing power thanks to technology advances, and added that AI could help deliver a safer and more efficacious autonomous system. 

By Lee Hsin-Yin