我已授权

注册

台积电美国建厂是特朗普的胜利吗?

2020-06-01 13:44:59 财经网 

美国正试图破坏全球的科技供应链,从而切断华为的高端硅芯片供给,但是这项计划有可能使美国自身后院失火。

A new $12 billion US chip plant sounds like a win for Trump. Not quite.

台积电美国建厂是特朗普的胜利吗?

On Friday, May 15, the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), the world’s largest contract chipmaker, announced that it will build a $12 billion plant in Arizona, to open by 2024. It expects the facility to employ roughly 1,600 people and indirectly generate thousands of other jobs.

5月15日,全球最大的代工芯片制造商台积电(台湾积体电路制造商)宣布将在美国的亚利桑那州投资120亿美元,用以修建一座芯片厂,并计划于2024年之前启用。预计这项设施将雇佣1600名员工,并且将衍生出数以千计的其他就业机会。

At first blush, the announcement looks like a victory for the Trump administration, which has been pushing to disentangle its technology supply chain from China—both by regaining its high-tech manufacturing capacity from Asia and by cutting off its own equipment and intellectual property from Chinese tech giants like Huawei. But the impact of the TSMC deal is far from clear cut and instead highlights just how intertwined the countries’ supply chains really are.

乍看之下,这项宣言看上去就像是特朗普政府在使科技供应链与中国脱钩的战场中所取得的一次胜利。在其作战计划中,美国左右开弓,一面从将高新科技的制造能力从亚洲收回到美国,一面限制来自中国的竞争对手取得美国的自有设备以及知识产权。在这场战役中,首当其冲受限的即是中国科技巨头华为。但是此番台积电的交易所产生的影响很难称得上是清晰明确的,相反其更加凸显了两国在供应链方面是多么盘根错节,紧密相缠。

TSMC is one of only three manufacturers in the world that produce the most advanced computing chips—those containing transistors 10 nanometers or smaller. The other two are South Korea–based Samsung Electronics and US-based Intel, which mostly reserves its advanced chips for its own products. For comparison, China’s largest domestic chipmaker, Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. (SMIC), can’t produce anything smaller than 14-nanometer chips. Because of this, TSMC has increasingly found itself at the center of US-Chinese competition for technological dominance.

台积电是世界上仅有的能生产最为先进的10纳米及以下级别计算机芯片的三家制造商之一,另外两家则分别是韩国的三星和总部在美国的英特尔,但这两家产出的先进芯片大多都用于自己生产的产品之中。反观中国,其国内最大的芯片厂商——中芯国际能生产的最精细的芯片也仅为14纳米级。正因如此,台积电也愈加意识到,在中美争夺科技主导权的战争中,它正处于战场的中心位置。

Among TSMC’s largest customers are both Apple and Huawei, which the US Department of Commerce placed on its so-called entity list last year. Huawei’s inclusion on the list, along with 114 of its related affiliates, banned US companies from selling their technology to those firms without a special license. The department said the decision was made on the grounds of national security. It’s no coincidence that Huawei also plays a critical role in China’s technological development and expansion overseas, especially with the country’s AI and 5G strategies.

台积电最大的客户是苹果和华为这两家科技巨头,后者在去年被美国商务部列入了其所谓的实体清单之列。由于此举,在没有特殊许可证的情况下,美国公司都被禁止向华为及与其相关的114家附属机构出售技术。商务部称,这项决策是出于对国内的安全考量的基础之上作出的。并非巧合的是,华为同样在中国的科技进步以及海外扩张当中扮演了关键性的角色,尤其是在中国的AI 和 5G战略布局层面。

But the initial blacklist didn’t affect TSMC because it is not a US company. This offered Huawei a loophole to continue accessing the cutting-edge chips used to power its smartphones, AI projects, and 5G networks. On May 15, hours after TSMC’s plant announcement, the Department of Commerce sought to tighten that loophole by updating its export rules. Under the expanded regulations, any non-American chip producers that use American chipmaking equipment must also obtain a special license in order to sell to Huawei. Because the US is one of only a handful of countries dominating the design and production of such high-precision manufacturing equipment, which can often cost north of $100 million per machine, the rules thus bind TSMC as well as other advanced chipmakers that would be hard pressed to find alternatives. This effectively places Huawei’s supply of chips under the US Commerce Department’s control. As of May 18, TSMC had already stopped accepting Huawei’s orders, according to Nikkei Asian Review.

但这最初的黑名单并没有对台机电产生影响,因为它不是一家美国公司。这给华为提供了一个空档,使其可以继续购买最先进的芯片,用以赋能其生产的智能手机,AI 项目 以及 5G 网络。在5月15日当天,台积电宣布将在美国设厂的数小时后,美国商务部就扩大了其出口方面的禁令,以堵住这个空档。新的出口规定之下,任何非美国公司只要使用了美国的芯片生产设备,就都需要获得特殊许可,才能向华为出售自己的产品。高精度芯片的生产设备的造假动辄上亿美元,而美国是垄断了这种设备的设计和制造的少数几个国家之一。因此,新的规定就遏制住了包括台积电在内的一众芯片厂商向华为销售产品的商业行为,华为也很难找到不在限制范围内的其他供应商。这些措施将华为的芯片供应牢固地掌控在了美国商务部的手里。根据日经亚洲周刊的报道,就在5月18日,台积电已经停止了接纳来自华为的订单。

“Semiconductor equipment is the weak link in China’s supply chain that America is really zooming in on,” says Neil Thomas, a senior research associate at the think tank Macro Polo, who studies US-China relations and the semiconductor supply chain. “Huawei can design state-of-the-art chips, just as good as perhaps chips that Apple can design. But what China can’t do is actually build those chips.”

“半导体设备是中国供应链当中的薄弱环节,也是美国正在瞄准的点。”马可波罗智库研究中美关系和半导体供应链的高级研究员Neil Thomas说。“华为可以自行设计最为先进的芯片,并且很可能达到美国苹果公司的芯片设计水准。但是中国没有真正生产出这些芯片的能力。”

Within this context, the planned plant takes on additional meaning. On Monday, the blow intended for Huawei inadvertently struck TSMC, which saw its stock price slip by 2.5% along with other Huawei suppliers. Some analysts now foresee the US Commerce Department granting it a license to continue selling to Huawei anyway, in order to keep the company on good terms to carry out its $12 billion deal. Whether TSMC made its announcement with knowledge of the upcoming change to the export ban is unclear, but Reuters reported that the decision to locate the plant in the US has already generated “good will” within the department all the same.

在这样的背景之下,台积电新的芯片工厂就被赋予了额外的意义。就在周一,这项针对华为的打击出其不意地冲击了台积电,其股价股价下跌了2.5%,华为的其他供应商股价也随之下跌。一些分析师们现在预计美国商务部很可能会向台积电颁发可以给华为进行销售的特殊许可,这样可以保持与台积电的和睦关系,从而继续实施它价值120亿美元的建厂计划。目前还不清楚台积电作出在美国设立工厂的决策的时候,是否已经知道了出口限制令将要收紧,但是路透社的报道称,无论如何,这项决策已经在各方之间创造了“善意”。

The plant will do little to affect US reliance on Asia-based manufacturing. It is slated to produce 20,000 wafers a month once it opens—only a small fraction of the 12 million wafers that TSMC made last year alone. And by the time the plant opens, the 5-nanometer chips that it is designed to produce will no longer be the most cutting-edge chips available. The company already has plans to move to 3-nanometer chips and smaller in its Taiwan-based plants during the next few years. Given the capital costs and time it would take to transition the Arizona plant to the latest technology, this means the US would still need to maintain its supply of chips from overseas plants to access the newest advancements.

实际上,即将投产的新工厂对降低美国对亚洲生产基地的依赖性收效甚微。建成之后的台积电美国工厂每月可生产2万个晶圆——这只是台积电去年一年所产出的1200万晶圆的零头。并且,到工厂正式投入运用之时,计划生产的5纳米芯片也将不再是市面上最为尖端的芯片了。该公司已经计划在未来的数年以内将台湾的生产产能投入于生产3纳米甚至更精细的芯片当中。也就是说,美国虽然在亚利桑那州的工厂投入了大量资本和时间,但其未来仍然需要依赖于海外工厂才能获得最新的技术成果。

In other words, the plant will do nothing to disentangle the two countries’ supply chains from each other. “It’s probably too small to really have any huge impact on the global picture,” Thomas says.

换句话说,新投产的工厂在使两国的供应链相互脱钩方面不能起到任何作用。Thomas 认为,“就国际产业全貌来讲,新建工厂的能量很可能太过微弱,以至于无法造成任何重大影响。“

If the expanded export ban did in fact hold, it could also introduce unintended consequences. China accounts for a lion’s share of the revenue for a number of American semiconductor companies, such as Qualcomm, which relies on the country for two-thirds of its income. In the long term, the lost sales to Huawei and potentially the broader Chinese market could slow US innovation in chipmaking. “Capital expenditure and research and development are really high in the semiconductor industry—about 30% of total revenue,” Thomas says.

如果新的出口禁令实施到位,那也将会为美国带来意料之外的后果。中国占据了美国半导体公司们的最大收入份额,例如高通公司,其三分之二的收入都来源于中国。长期来看,失去了华为的销售额以及潜在的更为广阔的中国市场,很可能会减缓美国芯片制造业的创新发展。“研发部门的投入在半导体行业中的占比非常之高,约占据总收入的30%,” Thomas介绍到。

In recent years, the trade war has spurred China to double down on investing in its semiconductor industry. On the same day as the US government’s updated export ban, the Chinese government announced a $2.2 billion injection into its largest domestic chipmaker, SMIC. The country’s hope is that Chinese chipmakers will catch up to the state of the art within a few years and complete its domestic supply chain for cutting-edge computing hardware. In the interim, Huawei would rely on the TSMC chips that it has been stockpiling for a year, in anticipation of further US restrictions.

近年来,中美之间的贸易战刺激了中国,使其加倍了自身的半导体产业的投资力度。就在美国宣布将要升级其出口禁令的当天,中国政府就宣布对国内最大的芯片制造商中芯国际注资22亿美元。中国希望自身的芯片制造业能够在数年内追赶上国际最先进水平,并且能够由此完善国内尖端水平计算机硬件的全产业链。在此期间,华为将会依靠已经积累的台积电芯片库存来维持一年的产能,用以应对将会到来的来自于美国的更多的限制策略。

Thomas says there are still a lot of unknowns as to how this will shake out. “The uncertainty is to what extent China can innovate itself out of this dilemma,” he says.

Thomas认为在这次的震荡当中,仍然有非常多的不确定性,“尚不确切的是,中国将在何种程度上成功地运用其创新能力,以走出现在的两难困境,”他如此说到。

Either way, TSMC’s Arizona plant isn’t so much a signal of the Trump administration’s success in reshoring high-tech manufacturing. Instead, its presence highlights a complicated network of relationships that may eventually be severed on China’s terms rather than the US’s.

无论如何,台积电在亚利桑那州的建厂计划,对于特朗普政府的使高科技制造业回流本国的战略而言,都不是一个有充足份量的良好信号。相反的是,这步举措更加曝光了高科技产业链当中的错综复杂的关系网络,这可能使中国最终获益,而不是美国。

The US is taking a “gamble,” Thomas says.

美国正在参与一场“赌博”,Thomas如此总结到。

作者:Karen Hao

原载:2020年5月19日 麻省理工科技评论

(责任编辑:何一华 HN110)
看全文
写评论已有条评论跟帖用户自律公约
提 交还可输入500

最新评论

查看剩下100条评论

推荐阅读

和讯热销金融证券产品

【免责声明】本文仅代表作者本人观点,与和讯网无关。和讯网站对文中陈述、观点判断保持中立,不对所包含内容的准确性、可靠性或完整性提供任何明示或暗示的保证。请读者仅作参考,并请自行承担全部责任。