TSMC Unveils Cutting-Edge Semiconductor Production Facility in Japan, Commencing Operations in H2 2024

In a significant move that underscores the growing global footprint of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), the world's leading contract chipmaker is set to inaugurate Japan's most advanced semiconductor production facility on February 24, 2024. The state-of-the-art fab, strategically located near Kumamoto on the island of Kyushu, marks a major milestone in TSMC's expansion endeavors, fueled by heightened global demand for semiconductor solutions and geopolitical considerations.

According to reports from China Times, TSMC's Japanese fabrication facility will utilize the company's N28 (28nm-class) technologies, positioning it as the pinnacle of logic fabs in Japan. While these technologies might not be cutting-edge for high-performance CPUs or GPUs, they are well-suited for the automotive and consumer electronics sectors, aligning with Japan's robust demand in these areas.

The production facility is expected to commence chip production in the second half of 2024. TSMC's decision to leverage N28 variants and the 22ULP fabrication process reflects a strategic focus on meeting the specific demands of the Japanese market, where long product lifecycles are common for integrated circuits.

The Kumamoto fab will become a key employer in the region, with a workforce anticipated to reach 1,700 employees when fully operational. As of now, the facility employs approximately 1,400 individuals, and an additional 250 new graduates are poised to join in the spring of 2024, contributing to the vibrant tech ecosystem in Japan.

TSMC's foray into Japan is not a solitary venture. The company is collaborating with Sony to establish the fab, highlighting a trend of partnerships in the semiconductor industry. The monthly production capacity of the facility is projected to reach 45,000 wafer starts, supported by an initial investment of $7 billion. The Japanese government is reported to be subsidizing the project, although the final cost remains undisclosed.

In a bid to further strengthen its presence in Japan, TSMC is also in the process of establishing a research and development center. The company is actively engaging in collaborative projects with the University of Tokyo, signaling a commitment to fostering innovation and technological advancements in the region.

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