Despite European countries actively seeking to woo semiconductor manufacturing vendors to the region as part of its goal to build 20% of all chips by 2030, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) has no plans to build new fabs in the region.
At TSMC’s annual shareholder meeting, Mark Liu, chairman of TSMC, said the company has fewer customers in the European region and it is still assessing any plans.
TSMC, the largest foundry in the world and one of the leading chipmakers, has been both expanding its current fabs and has pledged to invest in future fabs over the past two years including a new megafab in Arizona and a joint venture fab in Japan. Additionally, the company is building a new 6 nm and 7 nm fab in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, and a 2 nm fab in Hsinchu, Taiwan.
There were rumors that TSMC was planning on building a fab in Germany, but apparently that is not happening any time soon.
The move is interesting considering that not only are countries such as Germany, Spain, Italy and others setting aside billions in funding for new fab investment, but the EU recently unveiled the European Chips Act, which would provide somewhere in the realm of $50 billion in incentives to companies wishing to build new semiconductor fabs in the region.
Europe, along with other regions including the U.S., Canada and Japan, are looking to secure their own supply of semiconductors for the region after COVID-19 and other geopolitical issues have caused disruptions in the supply chain, leading to a multiple year chip shortage.
To avoid future issues with another pandemic or geopolitics, the hope is if semiconductor manufacturing is spread out among different regions and not aggregated in only Korea, Taiwan and China, the impact on the supply chain would be reduced.