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TSMC Joins Hands with Apple and Sony to Keep Samsung in Check

On Dec. 13, 2022, Apple CEO Tim Cook posted on Twitter a photo showing him at an elementary school in Kumamoto, Japan, along with the message, "Sony is Apple's partner and has made the world's best camera sensors."

www.businesskorea.co.kr/, Jan. 31, 2023 – 

Kumamoto is the region where Taiwan's TSMC and Japan's Sony will build a joint venture foundry plant. TSMC is expected to produce Sony products at the plant. , Sony is the No. 1 player in the world image sensor market. Tim Cook's Twitter posting suggests that Apple, Sony and TSMC will cooperate to keep in check Samsung Electronics, the main rival of Apple, Sony and TSMC in the global smartphone, image sensor and foundry markets, respectively.

On Jan. 6, the equipment bring-in ceremony at TSMC's Arizona plant in the United States also symbolized a technological alliance between Taiwan and the United States. It was held with the attendance of major U.S. big tech CEOs, including Apple's Tim Cook, Nvidia's Jensen Huang, and AMD's Lisa Su, as well as key U.S. politicians and government officials including U.S. President Joe Biden.

As a semiconductor alliance among the United States, Taiwan and Japan is getting stronger, Korea is losing its ground in the global semiconductor market, analysts say. Taiwan declared in 2021 that it would cooperate with the United States and Japan in the semiconductor sector. The United States and Japan also forged a semiconductor technology alliance last year. Although the United States proposed the "Chip 4" alliance that will include Korea, Taiwan, and Japan, Korea has not been showing active moves toward the proposal.

Experts say that Korea's role is not clear in the semiconductor value chain formed by the United States, Taiwan and Japan. The United States has a strength in semiconductor design, Japan in equipment, and Taiwan in high-tech foundry services.

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