[News] TSMC’s Kumamoto Plant Prepares for 2024 Mass Production with 1000+ Employees, Followed by Taiwanese Material Suppliers’ Collaboration

2023-10-30 Semiconductors editor

TSMC’s new plant in Kumamoto, Japan, is bustling. With more than a thousand employees hard at work, it is on track to commence mass production in 2024. This venture signifies TSMC’s commitment to meet customer demands and navigate geopolitical challenges by expanding its overseas production capabilities.

According to a report by Economic Daily, industry sources reveal that TSMC’s Kumamoto plant is making significant progress in terms of staffing. In August 2023, Taiwanese engineers arrived in Japan accompanied by their families. Simultaneously, locally recruited engineers have completed training and are being deployed to the Kumamoto plant in preparation for the 2024 production.

Notably, TSMC’s Kumamoto plant has successfully trained its workforce. When combined with local employees, the facility now boasts a workforce exceeding a thousand. For the latest Kumamoto plant updates, TSMC assures to refer to the information shared during the October 3Q23 earning conference.

In the prior conference, TSMC disclosed its construction of a cutting-edge wafer fab in Japan. This fab will employ 12/16 nm and 22/28 nm process technologies. TSMC has hired around 800 local employees, most of whom have gained valuable experience in Taiwan. Equipment installation began this month, and mass production is expected by late 2024 if all goes according to schedule.

TSMC’s Kumamoto plant is strongly supported by the Japanese government, Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corporation, Denso, and other partners. The plant’s total capital expenditure is $8.6 billion, and the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry approved a subsidy of 476 billion yen (about US$3.5 billion) in June, covering around 40% of the total Japanese subsidy amount.

The Japanese government is optimistic about TSMC introducing EUV lithography equipment for advanced process mass production in future plants. To secure TSMC’s expansion of the Kumamoto Plant, the government is intensifying its support, with discussions suggesting subsidies of up to 900 billion yen (about US$6.03 billion). This increase underscores Japan’s commitment to boosting domestic semiconductor production value, aligning with their 2030 goal. Companies like TSC, WAHLEE, and MA-tek are poised to expand in pursuit of this goal.

TSC established Shunkawa Co., Ltd. in Japan in 2022 and opened a Kumamoto office in August this year. TSC plans to closely monitor the evolution of new semiconductor plants and explore expansion opportunities in regions such as Tohoku and Hokkaido. Additionally, WAHLEE, a materials distributor, is actively partnering with original equipment manufacturers and Japanese trading companies to tap into the Japanese market.

(Image: TSMC)