After a first joint venture and the operation of the new “Japan 3DIC R&D Center”, TSMC could now build a new fab in Japan. Like its western allies, the Japanese government wants to become more independent and recently even considered efforts to set up production lines itself.
As usual, the topic is much more complex, simply building one of the most modern chip factories out of the ground and operating it efficiently is an extremely complex matter. This is exactly what media reports suggested in the summer of this year, but at the time ComputerBase had already summed up that this would not be possible without a partnership USA can, Japan wants too
In the shadow of the major US Fab 21 expansion, other regions would also like to see more investment in the space. The Japanese government would very much welcome a TSMC factory in the country, according to media reports from Japan. The country will do its best to attract foreign companies in the field and invest directly in Japan, Japan's Finance Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura was quoted as saying. He reacted with his statements to a report by TV Tokyo including a conversation with TSMC's Dr. Cliff Hou, Senior Vice President of Europe and Asia Sales and Corporate Research under Research and Development (R&D), who did not rule out a second factory after the first construction project in Kumamoto.
Sony and Denso are working on the first fab together with TSMC in a joint venture. TSMC is the determining force here, as they also provide the most important know-how: how these chips are ultimately produced. It can hardly be any different in the near future, because it is precisely this extensive know-how that decides how the chip design begins on the drawing board and how it ends in a functioning package as a product.
TSMC recently stated that the joint venture was a one-time action. So far, the company has only seemed partially convinced – even though the Japanese government is said to be bearing over 50 percent of the project costs. Another fab would therefore probably be aimed at as a sole project.
Intel is said to pay employees in the USA twice as much
Speaking of costs: TSMC has once again pointed out the high costs of running a fab in the USA. The problem for TSMC is above all the significantly higher personnel costs compared to Taiwan. A report cites sources saying Intel is paying more than double that for employees at its Arizona fabs. TSMC therefore fears a lack of staff on the one hand, but also a loss of know-how – the Intel fabs are only about an hour away by car. Japan is also not considered a low-wage country, so it remains to be seen when there will be figures for the fab.