Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Taiwan and the foundry model

Unique circumstances in Taiwan led to the creation of the foundry model, where an integrated circuit manufacturer has no products of its own and its plants produce only customer designs. The model has reshaped the global semiconductor industry and is well positioned to be at the heart of technological innovation in the industry.

This is a preview of subscription content

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. The 2020 McClean Report (IC Insights, 2020);

  2. Chip manufacturing equipment spending to hit record high $70 billion in 2021 after strong 2020, SEMI reports. SEMI (21 July 2020);

  3. TSIA Q4 2019 and Year 2019 Statistics on Taiwan IC Industry (TSIA, 2020);

  4. Chang, Morris oral history (Computer History Museum, 2007);

  5. LaPedus, M. The race to 10/7nm. Semiconductor Engineering (22 May 2017);

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Mark Liu.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The author is chairman of the Taiwan Semiconductor Industry Association (TSIA), chairman of the World Semiconductor Council (WSC) and chairman of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC).

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Liu, M. Taiwan and the foundry model. Nat Electron 4, 318–320 (2021).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing