TSMC Inaugurates its First Semiconductor Facility in Japan

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Prime Minister Kishida declares backing for the establishment of the company’s second plant in Kumamoto.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. has officially launched its initial facility in Japan, marking the commencement of chip production for leading local clients Sony and Renesas in the smartphone and automotive sectors, scheduled to begin by year-end. The opening ceremony in Kumamoto, southwestern Japan, was attended by Ken Saito, Japan’s Minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry, alongside numerous leaders from the Japanese chip industry. TSMC’s Chairman Mark Liu, CEO C.C. Wei, and founder Morris Chang were also present at the event on Saturday afternoon.

On the same day, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced Japan’s commitment to fund a second TSMC factory in Kumamoto. In a video message presented at the inaugural ceremony of the first factory, Kishida assured ongoing prompt support for the industry through funding and the relaxation of restrictions. Later that day, METI confirmed, in line with an earlier Nikkei report, that up to 732 billion yen ($4.86 billion) in subsidies would be allocated for the second plant. This facility represents a significant milestone for TSMC, as it marks the company’s first overseas production facility to commence operations since 2018. Following a period of test production, mass output is scheduled to commence later this year.

The facility, with minority investments from Sony Semiconductor Solutions and Denso, is set to manufacture chips ranging from 12 nanometers to 28 nanometers. These chips find application in a broad spectrum of uses, spanning automobiles and consumer electronics. The announcement of the Japan plant was made in late 2021 during a global chip shortage that significantly disrupted production in various industries, including the automotive sector.

Prior to the facility’s inauguration, TSMC disclosed its intention to more than double its investment in Japan, exceeding $20 billion. This expanded investment includes a second chip facility, featuring Toyota Motor as a new investor. The second fabrication facility will focus on producing more advanced 6-nm and 7-nm chips suitable for applications in industrial and high-performance computing. Operations for this facility are slated to commence by the end of 2027.

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