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TSMC weighs new plants in Japan and Europe

World's leading semiconductor producer is cutting back amid a cyclical downturn while investing big in the future

asiatimes.com, Jan. 16, 2023 – 

World-leading semiconductor foundry TSMC is likely to build a second factory in Japan and is moving toward building one in Europe as well.

Like the US, Japan and the EU have both pursued investment from TSMC. Speaking on the company's 2022 fourth-quarter earnings call for investors, held on January 12, CEO C C Wei said:

"Based on customers' requests, we are increasing our capacity outside of Taiwan to continue to provide our customer the optimal solution they need to be successful."

"In Japan, we are building a specialty technology fab [semiconductor fabrication plant, or factory], which will utilize 12- and 16-nanometer and 22-, 28-process technologies. Volume production is scheduled for late 2024."

"We are also considering building a second fab in Japan as long as the demand from customers and the level of government support make sense."

It will probably make commercial sense. Japan is short of foundry capacity and government subsidies will almost certainly be forthcoming – perhaps up to 60% of the value of the fab given how much more expensive it is to build in Japan compared with Taiwan.

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