TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), the world's largest contract chipmaker, is rumored to be establishing a joint venture with the Japanese government to set up an advanced IC packaging and testing plant in Tokyo.
It would be yet another major investment abroad for the company this year, following its 5-nanometer fab plant in Arizona.
People familiar with the matter told UDN that TSMC will build an advanced IC packaging and testing plant in Tokyo under a 50/50 joint venture (JV) agreement with Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI).
A memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the JV is expected to be signed soon and made public. However, the news is unlikely to be shared before TSMC's 4Q20 earnings conference on Jan. 14.
Last July, Japan was said to have approached the company about setting up a chip plant in the country. The effort led nowhere due to TSMC's strategic concerns and Japan's weak supply chain for wafers, despite the nation's advanced materials industry and related technologies and equipment. Japan is reportedly worried that its global leadership in the semiconductor industry would fade if TSMC were to strengthen its partnership with the U.S.
Instead of setting up a fab in Japan, the company eventually agreed to the Japanese government's alternative offer to set up an advanced packaging and testing production line as backend processing, the insider said.