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TSMC's Kumamoto fab to open on Feb. 24: Chairman

01/18/2024 09:08 PM
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CNA file photo
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Taipei, Jan. 18 (CNA) Mark Liu (劉德音), chairman of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), the world's largest contract chipmaker, said Thursday that the company's overseas expansion is proceeding as planned with a wafer plant in Kumamoto, Japan slated to open on Feb. 24.

The Kumamoto plant, with commercial production scheduled to begin in the fourth quarter of this year, will focus on specialty process development and roll out chips made on the mature 12nm, 16nm, 22nm and 28nm processes, Liu said at an investor conference.

In addition to Kumamoto, TSMC is also building two fabs in the U.S. state of Arizona.

Liu said TSMC Arizona, a wholly-owned subsidiary of TSMC, has signed an agreement with the Arizona Building and Construction Trades Council (AZBTC) for a range of cooperation ventures, in a bid to accelerate the pace of the chipmaker's investments in the U.S. state.

The first fab in Arizona is scheduled to begin mass production using the advanced 4nm process in 2025, providing chips of the same quality as those produced in Taiwan. Another fab in Arizona is expected to start commercial production in 2026, using the 3nm process, Liu said.

In Germany, TSMC has teamed up with Bosch GmbH, Infineon Technologies AG, and NXP Semiconductors N.V. to set up a joint venture, called European Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (ESMC), which aims to build a wafer fab in Dresden.

The Dresden project has secured strong support from the German government and its partners in the investment, and construction will start in the second half of this year as scheduled, Liu added.

The German plant is scheduled to start commercial production at the end of 2027, using the 12 nanometer, 16nm, 22nm, and 28nm processes to produce chips for automotive electronics and specialty industrial devices.

At home, TSMC said it is evaluating the possibility of building a third 2nm process fab in Kaohsiung in the wake of strong demand.

Currently, TSMC is building a 2nm fab in Hsinchu, which is scheduled to begin commercial production in 2025. The company plans two 2nm fabs in Kaohsiung, but no exact timeframe is available.

(By Chang Chien-chung and Frances Huang)

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