Explained: The unbelievably complex process of making semiconductor chips

The news of Foxconn-Vedanta's $19.5 billion semiconductor deal falling apart may be a temporary setback for India, striving to achieve its vision of becoming a major global hub in semiconductor manufacturing over the next decade. However, catching up with the global majors and setting up infrastructure may need more than a robust ecosystem, especially since it comes in the face of deteriorating demand for chips, particularly high-end, as the global economy contracts. Making the chips is an unbelievably complex and specialised process
Curated By: Madhu Kapparath
Published: Jul 13, 2023

Image by : VCG via Getty Images

  • Explained: The unbelievably complex process of making semiconductor chips
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Employees work on Apple iPhone production at a Foxconn factory on September 4, 2021, in Zhongmu County, Henan, China. TSMC's recent success has been linked to one client's trust in particular: Apple. For the first six generations of iPhones, Apple had outsourced the manufacturing of its chips to the South Korea-based Samsung. Later, Samsung launched its own competing Galaxy smartphones, causing Apple to file a lawsuit over IP theft in 2011, which ended with Apple winning $539 million in a settlement. That dispute was a boon to TSMC as Apple withdrew its supply chains from Samsung and lay clear of partnerships that favour a potential rival. Taiwan-based TSMC was a dedicated foundry business with no rivalling interests, and Apple remains their biggest client to date.