The chip shortage is leaving a significant mark on the global tech market. This is because it affects a very important range of industries. Virtually all manufacturers of smartphones, tablets, computers and their components, video game consoles, and automobiles —among many other areas— have been affected to a greater or lesser extent by this crisis. And while there is optimism that the situation will start to improve during 2022, nobody gets too excited. In this context, TSMC announced that it will land in Japan with a new chip factory.
This is important because the Taiwanese company is the largest semiconductor manufacturer in the world. Anyway, the determination to expand its operations and settle in Japanese territory will have no real impact on the current chip shortage; although it would help to combat (or avoid, why not) similar situations in the future. According to Reuters, TSMC expects to start operations in Japan just since the end of 2024.
The possibility of TSMC entering Japanese lands had been considered for a long time, but confirmation was lacking. It came today through CC Wei, the CEO of the company. The manager assured that they are working with their clients to plan their capacity and “invest in cutting-edge and specialized technologies” that allow them to support the demand that is generated.
Japan may be key to TSMC’s future plans
The details of the investment to be made by the Taiwanese are still not officially known, nor is it known what the capacity of the Japanese factory will be. What Wei did confirm is that the facilities will be used to make semiconductor wafers with 20 to 28 nanometer technology.
As Tom’s Hardware explains, the chips that TSMC will produce in Japan will not be the most technologically advanced, but they will be important to meet the strong domestic demand; especially in industries such as automotive and consumer electronics. This would also release the pressure on the other factories of the company, which could be dedicated to the technologies that are seen in smartphones, or in processors and graphics cards for computers.
Last week Nikkei Asia published that TSMC’s investment for this new factory would be around 7 billion dollars, and that the Japanese government would help with subsidies. For now, the company has neither confirmed nor denied this possibility; nor the information that Sony and Denso (Toyota Group) would be allies for this first foray into the country. It is clear that the Taiwanese have important plans for the future, including give Japan a relevant role in semiconductor production.