MEMS and Sensors

TSMC gives details on new Japanese fab

10 November 2021

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp. (TSMC) said its new Japanese fab will have an initial capital expenditure estimate of about $7 billion with Japanese government support.

TSMC confirmed it would be building the fab with a likely production start date by late 2024 earlier this year. The new details include the establishment of a new subsidiary called Japan Advanced Semiconductor Manufacturing Inc. (JASM) with the fab being built in Kumamoto, Japan, to provide foundry services to the region.

Initial technology at the fab will be in the 22/28 nanometer process technology and Sony Semiconductor Solutions (SSS) will take a minority stake in the Kumamoto facility with an investment of $500 million, a less than 20% equity stake in JASM.

Construction on the fab is expected to begin in 2022 and to directly create about 1,500 high tech jobs and have a monthly production capacity of 45,000 12 inch wafers.

TSMC has had a manufacturing presence in Japan since establishing its first subsidiary in 1997. In 2019, TSMC established a design center and is working with Japanese partners to expand advanced packaging technology with the 3DIC Research Center in Ibaraki Prefecture.

More fabs coming

The Kumamoto fab is just one of numerous fabs that TSMC has planned in the coming years.

In Arizona, TSMC just broke ground on its $35 billion investment in its U.S. state-of-the-art fab and the company said it will upgrade or build new fabs over the next three years to the tune of a $100 million investment.

This includes a new fab in Hsinchu, Taiwan, that will support 2 nm chips and a 6 nm and 7 nm semiconductor facility in the Taiwanese city of Kaohsiung.

TSMC is looking to keep pace in the foundry market with other companies that are expanding their own foundry capacity in the wake of the ongoing chip shortage. Intel has entered the foundry making space with its Intel Foundry Services business and Samsung plans on tripling its foundry capacity.

This comes as the U.S. is looking to strengthen its domestic semiconductor manufacturing after the chip shortage caused numerous supply chain issues for companies, particularly in the automotive market. Recently, the U.S. Senate passed the United States Innovation and Competition Act (USICA), which includes funding for Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) for America Act, a bill that would help to increase U.S. domestic semiconductor manufacturing.

The European Union (EU) also has lofty goals for the future of semiconductor manufacturing. By 2030, the EU wants to produce 20% of the world’s global chips.

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