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Taiwan green lights TSMC facility in Japan

Plant expected to be ready for mass production by 2024 with monthly capacity of 45,000 12-inch wafers

TSMC. (Reuters photo)

TSMC. (Reuters photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.’s (TSMC) investment plan to set up a chip plant in Japan was given the okay by Taiwan’s Investment Commission on Monday (Dec. 20).

As Taiwan’s semiconductor manufacturing capabilities are still at least a generation ahead of Japanese chipmakers, the Ministry of Economic Affairs’ Investment Commission said that TSMC’s planned fab in Japan does not run the risk of leaking high-end chip process technology to competitors, according to CNA.

The project will see TSMC and Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corporation (SSS) set up a joint venture — Japan Advanced Semiconductor Manufacturing (JASM) — to build the plant in Kumamoto Prefecture. The facility will manufacture less advanced 22 and 28-nanometer process chips that are used in microcontrollers and image sensors, which are widely found in both the tech and automotive sectors.

The initial capital expenditure for the fab is estimated to be around US$7 billion (NT$195 billion), with strong support from the Japanese government. TSMC will invest around US$2.12 billion in the project, while SSS is expected to inject around US$500 million into the joint venture and hold no more than a 20% stake in JASM.

Construction is scheduled to start sometime in 2022, with production slated to begin by the end of 2024. The chip plant is expected to create around 1,500 jobs and will have a monthly capacity of 45,000 12-inch wafers.