South Korea and Taiwan’s companies far exceed China in terms of semiconductor capital investment. Samsung has been the top spender in the world since 2010, as per the IC Insights. Intel is barely catching up to TSMC, which is in second place. Samsung and TSMC are projected to account for 43% of global capital spending this year.
According to a report by IC Insights, US company Intel’s market share is insufficient to compete with South Korea and Taiwan. “To have any fair chance of success, governments will have to invest at least $30 billion a year for at least five years,” says the study, the report said, “referring to the minimum investment required by the US, China, and the EU to grow chipmakers with production technology and capability comparable to Samsung and TSMC”.
Over the last two decades, Samsung and TSMC have dominated the global chipmaking industry. One of the detrimental consequences of an oligopoly is the recent automotive chip crunch. US Tech giant Intel has announced plans to invest $20 billion in two new chip manufacturing facilities in Arizona by 2024. Although Intel’s large investment is driven by competition between the United States and China, the company’s strategy must also be to close the gap with the top two firms.
Referring to China’s chip industry, the report said, “For China, even if the money were available, trade issues blocking some of the most important pieces of process equipment from being sold into the country would certainly be a hindrance.”
India has also set its eyes on the Semiconductor industry. The government will provide cash rewards of more than $1 billion to any company that establishes chip fabrication units. Private companies will be expected to purchase “Made In India” chips in order for these new fabrication plants to have guaranteed buyers.With an $400bn industry target, India eyes to beat China at its own game and emerge as a chip hub.