Semiconductor Equipment

TSMC’s first Japanese fab opens

27 February 2024
The JASM semiconductor manufacturing fab and offices that will begin operations this year. When both JASM fabs are complete, more than 100,000 12-inch wafers per month will be produced. Source: TSMC

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) has opened its first Japanese fab, a collaboration with Sony Group, Denso Corp. and Toyota Motor Corp. The second fab is on track to open by the end of the calendar year 2027.

Called Japan Advanced Semiconductor Manufacturing Inc. (JASM), the joint venture fabs in the Kumamoto Prefecture will receive support from the Japanese government in the form of incentives.

TSMC began construction on the first fab in April of 2022 with a target production date at the end of 2024. TSMC and its JV partners Sony Semiconductor Solutions (SSS), Denso and Toyota announced they would further invest in JASM to build a second fab. TSMC plans to begin operations by the end of 2027 if everything goes according to plan.

With both fabs, JASM will offer a total production capacity of more than 100,000 12 inch wafers per month starting from 40, 22/28, 12/16 and 6/7 nanometer process technologies. These wafers will be used for sectors like automotive, industrial, consumer electronics and high-performance computing applications.

TSMC will invest more than $20 billion and create over 3,400 high tech jobs, TSMC said.

Attracting others

Since the inception of the JASM fab, numerous other companies have decided to set up shop in the Kumamoto region. Market research firm TrendForce said that at least 35 related supply chain companies have established roots in the region and followed through with investments.

Citing Japanese media, TrendForce said that many Japanese citizens believe that the TSMC plant has significantly altered the atmosphere of the Kumamoto region, making it more vibrant.

Many mentioning that there are numerous new decoration projects for residential housing as well as more spending happening in the night life and entertainment sectors than ever before. While the opening happened recently, the plant was mostly completed in 2023 with 400 employees from Taiwan already at work.

However, due to hourly wages increasing from TSMC’s fab, new businesses everywhere and the need for housing skyrocketing, land prices and a living wage may be a struggle for others living in the region, TrendForce said.

“While TSMC has undoubtedly contributed significantly to the local economy, the most profound impact is felt by long-term residents of the town,” TrendForce said. “Nevertheless, it cannot be denied that TSMC has injected vitality into this aging town, making local life more vibrant and dynamic.”

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