The head of the influential Taiwanese Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC)has warned that the industry needs to innovate to stay ahead.
Morris Chang, chairman of TSMC, said that, while semiconductor manufacturing in Taiwan had made great leaps in the past 20 years, it had to do more to continue to be successful - and broaden its focus from making other companies' processors.
"My worry is that while foundry facilities are a good niche, they are rather limited," he said. "We should get closer to our end market. The semiconductors you develop have to match the market of your end users."
Chang said that further innovation was needed in Taiwan. "Education should not be in a traditional frame of mind," he said. "If I had a design company, I would want people like that, not just people with book knowledge."
Finding the right people, whatever their qualifications, was the key to that innovation, he said. "There's a great demand for these kind of people and we should have more of them in our universities."
"We still lack innovative people and if we establish this, we will be able to become a significant IT player in the world," he said.
Chang, who worked for Texas Instruments before he was hired by the Taiwanese government to head its semiconductor initiative, said that he was confident about the future of chips on the island, despite the obstacles.
"I'm 100 per cent optimistic on the foundry business and I don't see a cloud in the bright blue sky," he said.
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