TSMC and Sony Are in Discussions to Jointly Build a Chip Factory in Japan

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TSMC and Sony are considering jointly building a chip factory in Japan, according to a report from Nikkei Asia. One of the reasons for this seems to relate to China; TSMC is reportedly growing increasingly concerned about the country’s interest in its primary base of operations, the democratic island of Taiwan. TSMC fears that China will one day take Taiwan by force.

The Japanese government is ready to contribute 800 billion yen ($7.15 billion) toward the investment. From Reuters:

The plant in Kumamoto, southern Japan, is expected to produce semiconductors for automobiles, camera image sensors and other products which have been hit by a global chip shortage, and is likely to start operations by 2024, the report said. […]

TSMC has been concerned about the the concentration of chipmaking capability in Taiwan, which produces the majority of the world’s most advanced chips. China does not rule out the use of force to bring the democratic island under its control.

Japanese officials are also worried about the supply chain stability of its industries, with a global chip shortage forcing automakers to cut production.

Sony and TSMC have declined to comment, but TSMC said in July that it was reviewing a plan to set up production in Japan. The world’s biggest semiconductor company was recently asked by the US to disclose information on its supply chain for reasons related to the global chip shortage.

Source: Nikkei Asia (via Reuters)

Tsing Mui
News poster at The FPS Review.

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