TSMC confirms its intention to build chip factory in Japan

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TSMC wants to build its first chip factory on Japanese territory. According to previous rumors, it is a joint project with Sony. The factory is expected to focus on 22nm and 28nm production and should be ready in 2024.

TSMC announced its desired expansion to Japan with the release of its quarterly results. The decision is still subject to final approval by the TSMC board and details have not been disclosed by the company.

Sony said last week that Sony was seeking a minority stake in a chip manufacturing start-up to ensure the supply of chips for its camera sensor business. Sony is the market leader with its image sensors, which are used for smartphones and cameras, among other things.

The construction of the TSMC plant would cost an estimated 800 billion yen, about 6 billion euros. The Japanese government would guarantee half of that investment and make it a condition that the Japanese industry is given priority in the supply of chips. Denso, a Japanese auto parts supplier, is also said to be considering participating in the joint venture.

According to Bloomberg journalist Tim Culpan, the factory would target on 22nm and 28nm production. These are mature chip production processes and not nodes for, for example, the latest generation of socs for smartphones, which TSMC makes at 7nm, for example. According to Culpan, construction will start next year and production should start in 2024. The United States and Europe also want more chips to be produced on their own territory, in order to become less dependent on Asian production.

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