MediaTek CEO sees smartphone chipset ‘incremental’ move away from Taiwan

(Reuters) – Tensions between China and the United States are prompting some manufacturers to talk about moving some of their supply chains away from Taiwan as well, although it is “gradual,” the head of Taiwan’s most important smartphone chipmaker said. Reuters over the weekend.

Some “very large equipment manufacturers will require chip suppliers with multiple sources, such as from Taiwan, from the United States, from Germany, or from Europe,” said Rick Tsai, CEO of MediaTek Inc (2454.TW). “I think in these cases, we’ll have to source multiple sources for the same chip if the company can guarantee that.”

This is already happening, but not on a large scale, he added.

Tsai and senior executives spoke to Reuters on the sidelines of a media and analyst event the company was hosting in California’s Sonoma Wine Valley on Friday. The company has been pushing to grow its business in the United States, and Tsai said the goal is to triple or quadruple sales, although he did not specify a timeframe.

While MediaTek’s most advanced smartphone chips are manufactured at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (2330.TW) in Taiwan, Tsai said some older smartphone chips are made by GlobalFoundries Inc (GFS.O), which has factories in places like the U.S. and Singapore, and noted an announcement earlier this year to manufacture its chips at Intel Corp (INTC.O) manufacturing facilities.

Tsai said the “Intel 16” chip manufacturing technology that MediaTek is committed to using fits in well with MediaTek’s chipset production for smart TVs and Wi-Fi networks. “It’s a big business for us. So we’re not kidding. I’m overseeing this progress myself every month,” Tsai said, adding that its chips will be made by Intel’s manufacturing facility in Ireland from the second half of 2024.

He said MediaTek will also produce chips at TSMC’s Fab Arizona when that’s up and running, but cautioned that it’s not realistic for the chip industry to completely move away from Taiwan, the world’s most important region for advanced chip makers.

“But will this be enough? No, not far away.

Reporting from Jin Lanhe Li

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