For the first time, TSMC officially confirmed its plan to set up a production facility in Japan. At yesterday’s online investor conference, Mark Liu, TSMC chairman, confirmed the long rumored project. He also didn’t rule out future expansion of its 5nm production site in the US, which is under construction.
Before the conference, TSMC revealed its plan to expand its 28nm production site in Nanjing, China, spending a total of USD 2.6 billion, despite the rumors that Washington had voiced its objection to TSMC’s previous expansion plan in China, which would see a monthly production of 40,000 wafers by 2023. The scheduled expansion, if realized, would add an additional capacity of 20,000 wpm to TSMC’s Nanjing fab, reaching 60,000 wpm in total.
As of now, 90% of TSMC’s production capacity is still located in Taiwan, with four 12-inch fabs, four 8-inch fabs and one 6-inch fab located on the island. In China, TSMC operates one 12-inch and one 8-inch fab, together accounting for less than 10% of TSMC’s total capacity. In the US, TSMC has one 8-inch fab, representing less than 1% of the Taiwanese foundry’s capacity. Meanwhile, all of TSMC’s advanced packaging facilities are in Taiwan.
TSMC’s fab in Japan is located near Sony’s CMOS fab. It is reported that apart from Sony, Japanese automotive suppliers like Toshiba and Mitsubishi have all guaranteed to book TSMC’s capacity in support of its presence. At the the conference, however, TSMC made no comment regarding the speculation that it also planned a fab in Dresden, Germany.
Previously, TSMC stated that the selection of its overseas production sites would be determined by consumer demands as well as costs. Interestingly, Japanese consumers generally take up less than 5% of TSMC’s annual capacity, but geopolitical reasons take precedence. Since European demand accounts for approximately 10% of TSMC’s capacity, it seems that the fate of the rumored Dresden fab would also be up to geopolitics