TSMC boss bets on wearable devices

gglassTSMC CEO Morris Chang was one of the first industry leaders to truly recognise the potential of smart devices and unlike many tech execs, he runs a very tight ship, with an emphasis on good working conditions. Small wonder, then, that TSMC often ranks as one of the top employers in Taiwan.

Now that his smartphone optimism has been vindicated and then some, he is starting to talk up wearable gear. In a recent interview we admitted that he doesn’t wear a smart watch or Google Glass, but he still thinks they are the next big thing, Forbes reports.

“When you wear the Glass, you look like a man from Mars,” he said. However, over the next decade things might change. “I don’t think they are very practical yet, now, but the idea is being very actively worked on, so in 10 years we will certainly have practical wearables.”

Needless to say, a potential wearable tech boom would be a boon for TSMC. The foundry already supplies about 70 percent of the world’s application processors. Smart watches and Google Glass like devices would need bespoke chips. They can’t really use off the shelf SoC designs because they need something a bit more frugal, and this is where TSMC hopes to step in.

Chang believes that “a lot more things” will be mobile ten years from now and nobody is disputing the allure of wearable tech. However, at this early stage few consumers will be willing to spend a lot on what are essentially immature products with limited functionality. It is up to big vendors to get more developers on board and make cheap wearable gear a reality – a process that will take years, but in a decade or so we could see plenty more Martians on the street.