TSMC admits Intel is "indirect competition"

Not many people want to admit that they are competing with Intel at the moment. That way leads to pain.

So it is a little surprising that TSMC company chairman Morris Chang actually declared that Chipzilla a rival.

He told the Chinese-language Economic Daily News that Intel was a special rival because the US chip-maker is competing against TSMC’s customers.

So in other words, although Intel does not compete directly against TSMC the fact that it spends a lot of its time killing off Chang’s rivals is giving him a headache. It is not so much that the enemy of my enemy is my friend as the enemy of my friend is my enemy too.

Chang said that lately TSMC’s technologies and performance have reached quite a high level, bringing us into contact with different rivals.

He said he was seeing a face to face war with Samsung, GlobalFoundries with Intel standing ‘behind a veil’, a bit like Moriarty in Sherlock.

Intel has two contract foundry customers making field programmable gate array (FPGA) products, which do not compete directly against TSMC, Chang said.

The semiconductor sector used to be led by giant US and Japanese companies, but TSMC is now being seen as a “formidable” rival due to its upgraded competitiveness.

He said that all of TSMC’s punters rely on its foundry production, and Intel relies on its own foundry plants.

Chan said that if TSMC’s technologies were not improved enough and Intel keeps improving its technologies, our customers’ products will lose competitiveness to those of Intel.

He added that it would be horrible to imagine the outcome. We had a go at it and then needed a very stiff drink.