TSMC confirms plans for semiconductor fab plant in Japan

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp. confirmed Friday it is planning to build a computer chip factory in Japan.

TSMC’s CEO C.C. Wei said the company, the world’s biggest contract producer of semiconductors, was expanding to better serve its customers and enhance its competitive advantage.

“After conducting due diligence, we announce our intention to build a specialty technology fab plant in Japan, subject to our board of directors’ approval,” We said.

He said the project has a “strong commitment” from both TSMC’s customers and the Japanese government, he said.

Earlier this year, TSMC announced plans to invest $100 billion in the next three years in expanding its manufacturing capacity and supporting research and development.

Unconfirmed news reports have said TSMC is building the plant in western Japan as a joint venture with Sony Corp.

Japan is Taiwan’s biggest market in terms of revenue, according to financial data reported Friday.

TSMC says it anticipates faster growth thanks to long-term trends like the introduction of next-generation telecommunications and high-performance computing. The coronavirus pandemic, has revved up demand for electronic devices as the world relies increasingly on digitalization.

Shortages of semiconductors and other components due to soaring demand as the pandemic ebbs are slowing production of vehicles and electronic products.

Asked if he thought the chip industry might overextend its investments and end up with a glut, Wei said no.

“Not for TSMC. That’s what I can let you know,” he said.

TSMC’s shares rose 4.4% on Friday.

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