r/hardware - TSMC at the head of history's tide: two high walls and one sharp knife

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Note: This is a joint translation by Joy Dantong Ma and Jeffrey Ding -- all credit for the original goes to the authors and the original text linked below. These are informal translations and all credit for the original work goes to the authors. Others are welcome to share excerpts from these translations as long as my original translation is cited. Commenters should be aware that the Google Doc is also publicly shareable by link. These translations are part of the ChinAI newsletter - weekly-updated library of translations from Chinese thinkers on AI-related issues: https://chinai.substack.com/

Original link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1RMr9lzlgrReruoosnoHLIZ0hHbqJT5Kq7hZmcG6_uqg/edit#

Author: 陈帅 Chen Shuai, senior analyst

Source: 远川研究所 (Yuanchuan research group) -- have never heard of them

Editors: 董指导/戴老板 (Dai Laoban -- we have covered in a previous translation) Date: May 31, 2020

Original Mandarin: 历史潮头上的台积电:两堵高墙,一柄尖刀

Introduction

In December 1989, Taipei's cold rain was drizzling, and Samsung head Lee Kun-hee (李健熙) went to Taiwan for a study trip. He secretly invited Morris Chang (Chinese: 張忠謀/Morris Chang), the founder of TSMC, to have breakfast for one purpose: to poach the 58-year-old veteran.

At this time, TSMC has been silently established for two years, and it is still unknown in the industry. Its "foundry" model was not the mainstream approach of the chip field at that time, and people couldn't understand it. In 1987 when TSMC was founded, Samsung founder Lee Byung-chul (李秉喆) passed away, and his third son, Lee Kun-hee, took charge of Samsung. As soon as he took office, he shouted the slogan "Start-up Again (二次创业)" and made a foray into electronics and semiconductors.

Morris Chang is the talent that Lee Kun-hee badly needs. In 1983, he stepped back from the position of "third-in-command" of Texas Instruments. Although he could just enjoy the American dream of "one house, two cars,…
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