TSMC says it can catch up with auto chip demand by the end of June

03 May 2021 - 11:45 By Reuters
A file photograph of a microchip under test probes.
A file photograph of a microchip under test probes.
Image: Andrew Harrison / 123rf

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC) expects to be able to catch up with the "minimum requirement" of customer demand for auto chips by the end of June, its chairperson told US broadcaster CBS.

Automakers around the world are shutting assembly lines due to the shortage of chips for the industry, which in some cases have been exacerbated by the former US administration's actions against Chinese chip factories.

Taiwan, home to a booming semiconductor industry, is front and centre of efforts to resolve that problem, and its chipmakers have vowed to ramp up capacity.

Speaking to CBS' 60 Minutes in comments broadcast on Sunday, TSMC chair Mark Liu said they first heard about the shortages in December and the following month began trying to squeeze out as many chips as possible for automakers.

"Today we think we are two months ahead, that we can catch up the minimum requirement of our customers before the end of June," he said.

Asked if he meant the auto chip shortage would end in two months, he said "no".

"There's a time lag. In car chips particularly, the supply chain is long and complex. The supply takes about seven to eight months," Liu said

TSMC is the world's largest contract chipmaker.

While the chip shortage was first felt by automakers, it has since spread to other sectors including consumer electronics.