Nikkei: TSMC and Sony consider joint chip factory construction in Japan

Taiwanese chip manufacturer TSMC and Japan’s Sony Group are considering jointly building a chip factory in Japan. This is reported by business newspaper Nikkei based on its own sources. This would involve an investment of more than six billion euros.

According to Nikkei, the possible chip factory will be located in Kumamoto, in southern Japan. The plant is to produce semiconductors for cars, camera sensors, and other product groups hit by global chip shortages. The fab should be operational in 2024, if it actually comes.

According to Nikkei, the possible factory would cost 800 billion yen, which translates to about 6.15 billion euros. The Japanese government is expected to pay up to half of these costs. In return, the Japanese government would ask for a commitment that the supply of chips to the Japanese market would be given priority.

TSMC and Sony declined to comment on Nikkei’s messages, but the Taiwanese chip maker said in July that it was considering chip factories in Japan and Europe. The company also indicated that it is in talks with customers from those respective regions, although TSMC indicated at the time that there were no final plans.

TSMC has been building chip factories outside of Taiwan for some time. The company is currently building a 5nm chip factory in the US state of Arizona, which is also slated to open in 2024. In addition, according to Reuters reports, the manufacturer would like to build more factories in the US, for example for 3nm production.