TSMC has been granted permission to build a new chip factory in Taiwan. This new factory is to produce 2nm chips and will be located in Hsinchu County, one of the most important chip production locations in Taiwan.
TSMC received approval from the Taiwan Environmental Review Committee on Wednesday, business newspaper Nikkei Asia reported. With this, the company has officially received the green light for the construction of its 2nm factory. Construction was to start next year. In 2023, the chipmaker is expected to start installing production equipment at the new factory. The 2nm plant will be built near the township of Baoshan, according to Nikkei Asia, and will cover approximately 20 hectares.
It is not yet clear when TSMC will start production of 2nm chips. The company’s current roadmap goes to 3nm; that process should be ready for test production by the end of this year and more large-scale 3nm production should start next year. TSMC wrote in its annual report earlier this year that its 2nm node, also known as ‘N2’, is ‘progressing well through the pipeline’. TSMC will switch to gaa transistors with its N2 process, but the company has not yet released any technical details about its 2nm node.
In addition to this new 2nm chip factory, TSMC is also expanding outside of Taiwan to diversify its production chain and facilitate the demand from overseas customers. The company is currently working on a factory in the US state of Arizona, where 5nm chips will be produced from 2024. The company would like to build more chip factories in the US, according to Reuters sources. Earlier this month, TSMC announced that it is also considering a chip factory in Japan and is evaluating the possibility of building its first European chip factory in Germany.
These expansion plans, according to government officials, would weaken Taiwan’s “strategic importance” in the long term, making it crucial for the country to keep TSMC’s most advanced manufacturing technologies domestic. That is what Taiwanese government officials tell Nikkei Asia. “It’s okay for TSMC to expand its overseas business, but from a geopolitical perspective, it’s very important for Taiwan to let TSMC build its most advanced technology domestically,” said a Taiwanese government source, who is well known. with ‘the thinking of the government of Tsai Ing-wen’ to the business newspaper.
A TSMC cleanroom. Source: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd.