Inside Taiwan’s ‘Sacred Mountain’ of Chip-Making

If you are studying this, you’ll be able to thank a semiconductor. Phones, tablets, computer systems—actually any machine extra digital than pen and paper—all depend upon the tiny chips inside them to operate. The semiconductor business is very large, and on the heart of all of it is one huge agency that makes the majority of the chips all of us depend on: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company. Known broadly as simply TSMC, the corporate just isn’t solely crucial entity within the chip business, however it’s additionally a robust and stabilizing drive within the geopolitical standoff between Taiwan and China that, if ignited, would have an effect on the entire world. TSMC’s untouchable standing has earned it an amusing nickname: the Sacred Mountain of Protection.

This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED contributor Virginia Heffernan talks about her journey to the TSMC facility in Taiwan. She tells us how chips are made and explains how the semiconductor business—TSMC specifically—drives innovation whereas remaining largely invisible.

Show Notes

Read Virginia’s story about her trip to the TSMC factory in Taiwan.


Virginia recommends the present Seven Seconds on Netflix. Mike recommends the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s podcast How to Fix the Internet, particularly the episode “So You Think You’re a Critical Thinker.” Lauren recommends the Apple TV present Bad Sisters.

Virginia Heffernan might be discovered on Twitter @page88. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the principle hotline at @GadgetLab. The present is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.

How to Listen

You can all the time take heed to this week’s podcast by means of the audio participant on this web page, however if you wish to subscribe without cost to get each episode, here is how:

If you are on an iPhone or iPad, open the app referred to as Podcasts, or simply tap this link. You may obtain an app like Overcast or Pocket Casts, and seek for Gadget Lab. If you employ Android, you will discover us within the Google Podcasts app simply by tapping here. We’re on Spotify too. And in case you actually need it, here’s the RSS feed.

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