TSMC to invest US$20 billion in Taiwan 3-nano plant

Chairman more concerned about Samsung than about Chinese competitors

TSMC Chairman Morris Chang.

TSMC Chairman Morris Chang. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation (台積電) wants to invest US$20 billion (NT$607 billion) in its advanced 3-nano fab which as recently announced it plans to build in Tainan, company founder and chairman Morris Chang (張忠謀) said.

There had been reports that TSMC, the largest contract chip manufacturer in the world, had been considering the United States as the location for its most sophisticated chip factory, but it announced last month it had picked a science park in Tainan instead.

Chang told the Bloomberg news service that the project, once fully operational, would require at least US$15 billion (NT$455 billion) as a conservative estimate, but to be on the safe side, TSMC could invest up to US$20 billion.

Due to the rising cost of producing on an ever more sophisticated level, capital expenditure was also set to rise, Chang was quoted as saying. TSMC’s average annual capital expenditure might rise from US$10 billion (NT$303 billion) to US$11 billion (NT$334 billion), the Taiwanese chip pioneer said.

Turning to the competition, Chang said that with help from their government, Chinese chip producers were advancing, but it would still take them several years to reach TSMC’s basic level. However, a glut might occur due to the rapidly expanding production by China’s chip sector, he added.

In an interview with Japan’s Nikkei, Chang showed more concern about South Korean behemoth Samsung, saying TSMC would be careful in trying to maintain its lead in the sector.

Chang, 86, is set to retire next June from the company he founded 30 years ago.