Case | HBS Case Collection | October 2012 (Revised August 2013)

Global Unichip Corporation (A)

by Willy Shih and Chen-Fu Chien


Global Unichip Corporation (GUC) is a design services company that acts as a front-end to TSMC, the world's largest semiconductor foundry. In so doing, it masked the complexity of the latest process technologies, and reduced the entry barriers for small firms to utilize the latest technology. In acting as an aggregator, it was also able to capture scale benefits. But it saw a change in the market coming as a major systems house customer came to GUC directly. Did this mean that it was enabling competition with TSMC's most important customers? Was it fostering disintermediation, and what did this portend for the future shape of the industry?

Keywords: abstraction; value-network; complexity; Vertical Integration; entry barriers; intermediaries; dis-intermediation; aggregator; vertical specialization; Technology Adoption; Technology Platform; Competitive Strategy; Corporate Strategy; Horizontal Integration; Vertical Integration; Technological Innovation; Innovation Strategy; Innovation and Management; Industry Structures; Hardware; Complexity; Information Technology; Semiconductor Industry; Technology Industry; Telecommunications Industry; Taiwan;


Shih, Willy, and Chen-Fu Chien. "Global Unichip Corporation (A)." Harvard Business School Case 613-048, October 2012. (Revised August 2013.)