Business Strategy and Outlook| Phelix Lee |
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. is the world’s largest dedicated contract chip manufacturer, or foundry. It makes integrated circuits for customers based on their proprietary IC designs. The firm has long benefited from semiconductor firms around the globe transitioning from integrated device manufacturers to fabless designers. TSMC, like all foundries, assumes the costs and capital expenditures of running factories amid a highly cyclical market for its customers. Such cyclicality stems from the fact that foundries tend to add excessive capacity during times of burgeoning demand, which can result in underutilization during downturns that hampers profitability.