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TSMC and Sony team up on $ 7 billion plant in Japan

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Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) and Sony will join as investors in a chip factory in Japan to meet high demand for specialized technologies at 28nm and 22nm process nodes, the companies said in a statement. joint.

Sony Semiconductor Solutions and TSMC will establish a subsidiary, Japan Advanced Semiconductor Manufacturing, Inc. (“JASM”), in Kumamoto, Japan, to provide foundry services by the end of 2024.

The plant is expected to employ approximately 1,500 people and achieve a monthly production capacity of 45,000 12-inch wafers. Initial capital expenditure is estimated at around $ 7 billion, with the Japanese government providing an undisclosed grant amount.

Earlier this year, Sony announced a separate expansion of production capacity. He announced the construction of the Fab 5, dedicated to CMOS image sensors.

Sony plans to take a half-billion dollar stake in JASM, which will represent a less than 20 percent stake in the new company.

“We are delighted to have the support of a leading player and our long-time customer, Sony, to provide the market with a brand new factory in Japan, and we are also delighted at the opportunity to bring more of Japanese talent in the global TSMC family, ”TSMC CEO CC Wei said in the statement.

The planned investment in Japan has come so quickly that it is not included in the $ 100 billion that TSMC said earlier this year that it plans to spend on expanding its capacity over the next three. years.

TSMC’s Japanese factory adds to a decades-long history in Japan’s semiconductor ecosystem. The company established its first subsidiary in Japan in 1997. More recently, TSMC established the Japan Design Center in 2019, and the company is working with Japanese partners to push the boundaries of advanced packaging technology with the research center 3DIC in Ibaraki Prefecture.

“As the global semiconductor shortage is expected to continue, we anticipate that the partnership with TSMC will help ensure a stable supply of logic wafers, not only for us, but also for the entire industry. We believe that strengthening and deepening our partnership with TSMC, which owns the world’s leading semiconductor production technology, is extremely important to the Sony Group, ”said Terushi Shimizu, President and CEO of Sony Semiconductor Solutions.

Governments around the world are demanding a secure supply of semiconductors as their domestic automakers continue to slow down their production lines due to chip shortages. These governments are seeking manufacturing investment from major chipmakers in Asia, such as Samsung in South Korea and TSMC in Taiwan, as well as Intel in the United States.

TSMC has built a new 5nm chip facility in the US state of Arizona. While most of TSMC’s production is in Taiwan, the company operates a 12-inch gigafab as well as a former 8-inch factory in China and a former 8-inch factory in the United States.

The fragility of the semiconductor supply chain has become more apparent this year as accidents have exacerbated global shortages. Renesas of Japan had a fire at one of its facilities earlier this year while Samsung, Infineon and NXP were forced to shut down production in Austin, Texas after an abnormal winter storm that cut off supply in electricity.


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