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On the Origins of Taiwan's Semiconductor Industry
For this newsletter, I want to highlight a fantastic conversation I had on the Startup Island Taiwan podcast with Tim Koay, a historian of Taiwan’s early stage semiconductor efforts.
Tim reached out to me a while back to talk a bit about a project that he has been working on - a history of Taiwan’s semiconductor program leading up to UMC and TSMC. He had the opportunity to reach out to and interview various participants in the program. For those who passed away, he reviewed their documents and prior testimonies.
A few observations that really stuck with me from the conversation. Many of these tidbits I personally have never heard before in any other written source:
The notion of Taiwan investing in Electric Vehicles or geothermal rather than semiconductors
The importance of RCA when it came to contributing the basic knowledge and technologies
What happened before Morris Chang comes to Taiwan?
Stories of companies that invested in TSMC stock and forgot about it …
I don’t want to spoil any more of this great chat, so I highly recommend you listen to it.