The current shortage of circuits has set the ball rolling for huge investments from both companies and authorities around the world. Among those investing investments in the trillion class is the contract manufacturer Taiwan Manufacturing Semiconductor Company (TSMC). The company’s expansion plans include both investments in future manufacturing techniques and international factories.
TSMC has already started factory construction in Arizona, USA. Next in line is Japan, where a new factory for special circuits will be built in 2022. This is confirmed by CEO CC Wei in a statement to Bloomberg. According to Wei, TSMC has strong support from both the Japanese government and the company’s Japanese customers.
After conducting due diligence, we announce our intention to build a specialty technology fab in Japan, subject to our board of directors approval. We have received a strong commitment to support this project from both our customers and the Japanese government. – C.C Wei, TSMC:s VD
The factory is expected to cost around seven billion dollars, according to information Nikkei Asia. The special technology for circuits that is mentioned, on the other hand, is not what is usually also called cutting edge techniques and is intended to produce circuits with manufacturing techniques within the range of 20–28 nanometers.
These older nodes are still important for, among others, the automotive industry, which has a strong foothold in Japan. There is also talk of a collaboration with Sony, which probably involves the manufacture of circuits for image sensors. By locating the production of these components in its own factories in Japan, TSMC can in the long run free up capacity for its more advanced manufacturing techniques at home.
Like many Western countries, fewer and fewer circuits are manufactured in Japan, whose domestic players depend on circuit manufacturing in South Korea and Taiwan. The effects of the corona pandemic have shown the importance of having domestic production. The increasingly tense situation between China and Taiwan is another strong argument for why Japan as well as the US and the EU want to move home manufacturing of circuits.
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