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TSMC’s Morris Chang receives SPIE Visionary Award for semiconductor industry leadership

Award recognizes 'revolutionary' changes, 'invention of the semiconductor foundry concept'

04 December 2014

Morris Chang and Eugene Arthurs

Morris Chang (left), Chairman of TSMC, accepts the SPIE Visionary Award from SPIE CEO Eugene Arthurs during the OPTIC 2014 opening session. Organizers also kicked off the International Year of Light (IYL) 2015 during a lighting ceremony that included LED-studded displays such as the IYL logo in the background.


TAICHUNG, TAIWAN and BELLINGHAM, Washington, USA -- Industry leader Morris Chang, Chairman of TSMC, was honored for his "invention of the semiconductor foundry concept" and other contributions with the rare presentation of an SPIE Visionary Award today (4 December) in Taichung. The award was made by Eugene Arthurs, CEO of SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, during opening ceremonies of OPTIC (Optics and Photonics Taiwan, the International Conference) 2014. The event runs 4-5 December, along with the jointly organized annual meeting of the Taiwan Photonics Society.

Morris Chang and IYL Taiwan
Morris Chang, CEO of TSMC, was on hand
for the International Year of Light lighting
ceremony during the OPTIC opening session.

"SPIE believes that Dr. Morris Chang's leadership of TSMC and his 'invention' of the semiconductor foundry concept has changed the world for the better in a very significant way," Arthurs said. "The extraordinary progress of semiconductor technology over the last several decades has relied on visionary leadership. Throughout changes in technologies, economies, and markets, Dr. Chang has constantly supported technical development, and courageously invested in people and manufacturing in ways that have been truly revolutionary."

Arthurs used the smartphone as an example of this vision. "Think of the powerful processors that we carry around to increasingly facilitate our lives, and how these affordable semiconductors of truly impressive capability have enhanced our ability to connect and communicate with each other, indeed, transformed our daily existence," he said. "SPIE believes that much of this is due to Dr. Chang, and it is with great honor that we recognize his positive disruptive role with the SPIE Visionary Award."

In accepting the award, Chang said that that the 27-year-old TSMC will need SPIE's help in prolonging of Moore's Law over the next several years, and that he would treasure the award.

The SPIE Visionary Award is presented on occasion to recognize major contributions to technology and its implementation. Previous awards have been made to Nobel Laureate Richard Smalley for his work, vision, and passion on nanotechnology to help solve the world's energy problems; Teruo Hiruma, founder of Hamamatsu Corporation, for his advocacy of photonics research for the betterment of the human condition; and Lothar Späth, the German politician who was instrumental in restoring Jena as a leader in optics research and technology after German reunification.

TSMC is an innovator on the forefront of semiconductor manufacturing processes, with R&D partnerships and global technology initiatives including EUV, multiple e-beam direct-write lithography, 3D integrated circuit stacking, and other advancements that expand the boundaries of productivity and quality.

The company is the largest contract chip maker in the world, with annual sales more than four time those of the next largest manufacturer, according to data from IC Insights published in a Wall Street Journal interview with Chang in October.

In the interview, Chang said that prolonging Moore's Law will be the company's biggest challenge over the next several years.

"You have to be a leader and galvanize resources to take maximum advantage of a changing external environment. If you're behind by one year, two years, that's not good," Chang told the WSJ. He said that TSMC has tripled its R&D budget and more than doubled staff over the past five years, and that the company expects its share of the global foundry market to rise from 45% in 2012 to 55% in 2015.

SPIE is the international society for optics and photonics, a not-for-profit organization founded in 1955 to advance light-based technologies. The Society serves nearly 256,000 constituents from approximately 155 countries, offering conferences, continuing education, books, journals, and a digital library in support of interdisciplinary information exchange, professional networking, and patent precedent. SPIE provided more than $3.2 million in support of education and outreach programs in 2013.


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