TSMC has no "concrete" plans to make chips in Europe

February 16, 2021 // By Peter Clarke
TSMC has no "concrete" plans to make chips in Europe
TSMC has noted the European Commission's call to boost the domestic semiconductor industry but the foundry has no plans to make chips in Europe, according to a senior executive.

Europe is contemplating spending billions of euros to try and improve the strategic supply of chips but it is unlikely that any domestic chip makers will be able to offer any production at or near the leading-edge. The chosen vehicle is likely to be an Important Project of Common European Interest (IPCEI) as a way of handing out a subsidy (see Germany ready to help Europe invest 'billions' in chip manufacturing).

However, other geographic regions have offered subsidies to attract the world's leading chipmakers to set up locally. The notable examples are the US and Japan, which recently have both sought to attract to TSMC to invest in local manufacturing.

TSMC, which was founded in 1987 with the support of Philips Semiconductors, has long been courted to return to Europe in some capacity other than just sales, but it has consistently declined arguing that its success comes from economies of scale from grouping fabs together in Taiwan.

However, in recent years TSMC has broken that rule and besides its multiple fabs in Taiwan now owns one fab in the US and one in China and is commencing the building of a $12 billion leading-edge fab in Phoenix, Arizona (see TSMC hiring for Arizona wafer fab).

Next: Responds to pressure

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