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TSMC was founded at the age of 55… The 92-year-old ‘semiconductor godfather’ who grew a market cap of $1 trillion from an unheard of story.

Maurice Chang and Jensen Huang. This photo was taken at a semiconductor meeting in 2002. – Bloomberg capture

Following Nvidia, which is leading the recent artificial intelligence (AI) rally on Wall Street, Taiwan’s TSMC is the most likely semiconductor company to surpass $1 trillion in market capitalization.

As of the 1st, TSMC’s market capitalization reached $760 billion (about twice that of Samsung Electronics) and is expected to soon exceed $1 trillion.

NVIDIA is in charge of design, and TSMC is in charge of manufacturing, and are enjoying the AI ​​rally. The person who founded NVIDIA was Taiwanese-American Jensen Huang, and the person who founded TSMC was Morris Chang (Chinese name Zhang Zhongmou).

The world’s most valuable technology companies were founded by surprisingly young entrepreneurs in dorm rooms, garages or restaurants, but Maurice Chang founded the company at the age of 55 and grew it into a global semiconductor company, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported on the 1st. did.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates started his business at the age of 19, and Apple founder Steve Jobs started his business at the age of 21. Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and Nvidia’s Jensen Huang were 30 years old.

However, Maurice Chang founded the company at the age of 55, an age when others would retire. Even though he started the company at a late age, he grew TSMC into a global company.

The 92-year-old was born in Ningbo, mainland China, in 1933. At that time, China was going through turbulent times due to the Chinese Civil War and Japanese invasion. He immigrated to the United States in 1949 in his teens to escape troubled circumstances.

He entered Harvard University’s English Department to major in English literature. However, he realized that skills were needed to get a job, so he transferred to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and studied mechanical engineering.

After graduation, he started working in the semiconductor field. Afterwards, in 1958, he joined Texas Instruments (TI), a leading technology company. He rose to vice president of the semiconductor division at TI.

He was then offered a position in Taiwan. He was offered the position of director of the Industrial Technology Research Institute under the Taiwanese government. He moved to Taiwan in 1985.

He later founded TSMC in 1987. At the time, Taiwan was an economy centered on small and medium-sized businesses, so there were no large corporations capable of making large-scale facility investments, and the United States and Japan already dominated the semiconductor market, making it difficult to enter the market.

He believed that consignment manufacturing, rather than directly designing semiconductors, was promising, and grew TSMC into a foundry company.

Accordingly, TSMC started as a company that only assembles semiconductors by receiving blueprints from other semiconductor companies. Therefore, it was a ‘unheard of’ company for a while.

TSMC’s rapid development began in the 2010s when global semiconductor companies began to pursue fabless (without a manufacturing plant) companies to reduce costs and entrusted production to TSMC.

Reputable companies only designed the design and left the manufacturing to TSMC. As orders poured in, TSMC became ‘Super B’ where ‘A’, the orderer, had to wait in line.

Because it does not design or sell its own chips, it is not subject to checks from competitors. The company grew rapidly. Looking back now, choosing the foundry was ‘a godsend.’

He stepped down from his position as TSMC chairman in 2018. However, he continues to actively engage in external activities, including serving as a government advisor. Even though he has retired, Taiwanese people still respect him and call him ‘the father of Taiwanese semiconductors.’

Others start a company at age 55, the age at which they would retire, and continue to be active in society even after age 90.

He quoted General Douglas MacArthur in the WSJ, saying, “I am an old soldier. Old soldiers never die. “He just disappears.”

(Seoul = News 1)

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