Fabs are well-known for being an costly enterprise to be in, so any time a brand new fab is slated for development, it tends to be an enormous deal – particularly amidst the present chip crunch. To that finish, TSMC this week has introduced plans to construct a brand new, semi-specialized fab in Japan to satisfy the wants of its native clients. The semiconductor manufacturing facility will concentrate on mature and specialty fabrication applied sciences which are used to make chips with lengthy lifecycles for automakers and client electronics. The fab will likely be Japan’s most superior fab for logic when it turns into operational in late 2024 and if the rumors about deliberate investments are appropriate, it is also Japan’s largest fab for logic chips.
“After conducting due diligence, we announce our intention to construct a specialty know-how fab in Japan, topic to our board of administrators approval,” introduced CC Wei, chief govt officer of TSMC, throughout a convention name with buyers and monetary analysts. “We’ve got obtained a powerful dedication to assist this venture from each our clients and the Japanese authorities.”
Comes On-line in Late 2024
TSMC’s fab in Japan will course of 300-mm wafers utilizing a wide range of specialty and mature nodes, together with quite a lot of 28 nm applied sciences in addition to 22ULP course of for ultra-low-power gadgets. These nodes will not be used to make modern ASICs and SoCs, however they’re broadly utilized by automotive and client electronics industries and can proceed for use for years to come back not just for present chips, however for upcoming options as properly.
“This fab will make the most of 20 nm to twenty-eight nm know-how for semiconductor wafer fabrication,” Wei added. “Fab development is scheduled to start in 2022 and manufacturing is focused to start in late 2024, additional particulars will likely be supplied topic to the board approval.”
Whereas TSMC disclosed the specialised nature of the fab, its schedule, and the truth that it gained assist from purchasers and the Japanese authorities, the corporate will not be revealing something past that. The truth is, whereas it confirmed that the price of the semiconductor manufacturing facility will not be included in its $100 billion three-year CapEx plan, it refused to provide any estimates about its deliberate investments within the venture.
In the meantime, there are various issues that make this fab particular for TSMC, Japan, and the business.
The Most Superior Logic Fab in Japan
It was late 2005, AMD and Intel began to ship their first dual-core processors and the CPU frequency battle was formally over. Intel was on the point of introduce its first 65nm chips in early 2006 and abruptly Panasonic said that it had began quantity manufacturing of the world’s first utility processors utilizing a 65 nm know-how, which it co-developed with Renesas, placing Panasonic a few months forward of mighty Intel. In mid-2007, Panasonic once more beat Intel to punch by a number of months with its 45 nm fabrication course of.
However with their 32 nm node, Panasonic was 9 – 10 months behind Intel. And whereas the corporate did a half-node shrink of this course of, it in the end pulled the plug on 22nm following different Japanese conglomerates that opted out from the method know-how race even earlier. By now, all Japanese automotive and electronics corporations outsource their superior chips to foundries, who in flip, construct nearly all of them outdoors of Japan.
By bringing a 22ULP/28nm-capable fab to Japan, TSMC’s plans won’t solely brings superior logic manufacturing again to the nation, however it could additionally quantity to probably the most superior fab in Japan. TSMC can also be establishing an R&D heart in Japan and cooperates with the College of Tokyo on numerous issues, so its presence within the nation is rising, which is nice information for the native semiconductor business.
Beforehand TSMC concentrated its fabs and R&D services in Taiwan, however it appears like its speedy development fueled by surging demand for semiconductors in addition to geopolitical issues are compelling the foundry to diversify its manufacturing and R&D places.
What is especially fascinating is that in accordance with a Nikkei report, the Japanese manufacturing facility will likely be co-funded by TSMC, the Japanese authorities, and Sony. This marks one other main technique shift for TSMC, which tends to totally personal its fabs. The truth is, if the Nikkei report is to be believed, the entire venture will value round $7 billion (although it isn’t stated whether or not that is the price of first part of the fab, or a possible multi-year funding).
To place the quantity into context, SMIC lately announced plans to spend round $8.87 billion on a fab with deliberate capability of round 100,000 300-mm wafer begins per 30 days (WSPM). TSMC’s facility will presumably value much less and will likely be in-built a rustic with greater working prices, so it might properly not be a GigaFab-level facility (which have capability of ~100K WSPM). However nonetheless, we’re speaking a couple of sizable fab that might have a capability of tens of hundreds of wafer begins per 30 days, which might make it Japan’s greatest 300-mm logic facility ever. Only for comparability, the previous Panasonic fab in Uozo (now managed by Tower Semiconductor and Nuvoton) has a capacity of round 8,000 WSPM.
TSMC has not formally confirmed any numbers about its Japanese fab, however the firm tends to construct reasonably massive manufacturing services that may be expanded if wanted. In the meantime, a fab in Japan that properly serve wants of native automotive and electronics conglomerates guarantees to assist them to keep away from shortages of chips sooner or later. This may additionally depart TSMC free to assign its 28nmTaiwanese and Chinese language manufacturing traces to different purposes, together with PCs, which is vital for the entire business.