TSMC-Sony Japan wafer fab plans progress

October 08, 2021 // By Peter Clarke
TSMC-Sony Japan wafer fab plans progress
A TSMC wafer fab under consideration for Kumamoto prefecture in Japan, with Sony as the anchor customer, could cost between 700 billion about 800 billion yen (about US$7 billion), according to local reports.

As part of the deal Sony could take a minority share in the company that will manage the fab, which would be located on land owned by Sony and adjacent to a Sony image sensor fab, Nikkei said referencing unnamed sources.

The possibility of TSMC, the world's largest contract IC manufacturer, setting up in Japan had been previously reported with TSMC confirming it was reviewing the option but that it would need a large support package to operate in Japan (see TSMC confirms German, Japanese fab plans ).

Meanwhile it was reported that Japan's government is considering providing hundreds of billions of yen (billions of US dollars) to support the construction of wafer fabs in the current fiscal year, which runs to the end of March 2022. The government could cover about half of the Kumamoto budget, according to a Kyodonews report.

If the support package is enough to persuade TSMC to go ahead, the factory is set to make image sensors and automotive chips and go into operation in 2023 or 2024.

Japan used to be a leading-edge manufacturer of semiconductors although predominantly in the standard product memory and microcontroller areas. Japanese companies have fallen behind South Korea and Taiwan and for logic chips increasingly use Taiwanese foundries.

However, the Japanese government is concerned about security of supply for its electronics equipment and automobile companies, particularly with heightened political tension around the Taiwan strait.

The US and Europe have also been working hard to attract inward investment for domestic chip manufacturing.

Related links and articles:

www.tsmc.com

www.sony.co.jp

News articles:

TSMC confirms German, Japanese fab plans

Intel's European mega-fab could go to Galway, Ireland

Intel in talks with Bavaria over wafer fab location

Intel seeks $10 billion subsidy for 'EuroFab'

TSMC plans six wafer fabs in Arizona


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