In May this year TSMC confirmed it was planning stages to set up a $12bn advanced semiconductor fab in Arizona, USA. The plan outlined that construction would begin in 2021, with production beginning in 2024, with lines designed to output 20k N5 wafers per month. Now news has emerged that Japan wants to similarly adopt the Taiwanese chip making giant.
A Japanese newspaper reported on Sunday that Japan intends to invite TSMC (and other global chipmakers) to build an advanced chip foundry there. The project would be somewhat collaborative with domestic chipmakers, and would be hoped to rejuvenate Japan's semiconductor industry, especially as advanced chip making has been under scrutiny with regard to national security issues.
It is easy to understand why Japan, and its domestic chip companies, would want this but benefits gained by TSMC are less obvious - we don't know of any Japan government incentives, for example. The risk in the back of many people's minds, that China might one day consume Taiwan, may also mean this valuable company sees it was wise to take its eggs out of the single basket.
When questioned about the Japan possibility by a Taiwanese newspaper, the company stated somewhat obliquely that "TSMC gives top priority to its clients' demands". In other words I think TSMC is considering things carefully - it was equally cautious of confirming or denying the Arizona plans earlier in the year.
TSMC already has a '7nm/5nm and beyond' design centre in Yokohama, Japan.
TSMC becomes the world’s top chipmaker by market cap
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company has become the world's most valuable semiconductor maker. It market capitalisation is currently US$337bn, which is tens of billions more than the likes of Samsung, Intel, and Nvidia.
TSMC market cap highlighted in black (TWD). Will it continue to be a good investment?
TSMC cuts supplies to Huawei
Late last week TSMC confirmed that it had suspended new orders from Huawei to comply with new US regulations. The company actually hasn't taken any new Huawei orders since May. The result is that TSMC won't be shipping any further wafers to Huawei after mid-September. TSMC isn't too concerned about loss of business as it has plenty of other tech giants queuing up for mass production slots, however it warned in general about slow-downs in the 5G smartphone market.