Saturday, June 13, 2009

The future is here ... but not uniformly distributed!

Today we can read in the NYTimes a short story about TSMC, the world's lagerest foundry.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing - TSMC - is one of the success stories of the Hsinchu Science Park, the most well known and most successful Science Park in Taiwan. TSMC being the largest for-hire foundry in the world has greatly contributed to the maintenance of the Moore's law and the low price of semiconductors around.
However, we have seen this sector moving in the last years, processes of consolidation like the ones driven by AMD and Intel, together by a movement to more profitable segments like mobile devices, have changed the face of the industry, leaving a smaller space to independent foundries.
On the other side, prices went down pushed by mobile devices and the rise of netbooks.
The end result is that TSMC is taking a bold move: moving to LEDs and solar cells. This is a new growing segment with a lot of room for improvement, a perfect arena for such an efficiently and in many ways extraordinary company.
Green technologies is certainly the new and wild market where everybody wants to be, not only because of its size and opportunities but also because being politically correct, governments are investing heavily there, a boost that weights in any market entrance decision of a big conglomerate.
But this also means that at least some of the promises of the past years in this field of green-technology, will finally have the financial might to become real, and because this is a high-level technology, when translated to mid and low levels, we can expect a plethora of innovation to flourish.

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