[News] TSMC’s Fab in Germany Progress Reports Potential Setback in Manager Selection?

2023-11-27 Semiconductors editor

As TSMC speed up its global expansion, the developments in its overseas fabs and the appointments of key leaders are under intense scrutiny. According to reports from DeepTech’s Voice, TSMC is said to choose Ray Chuang as the General Manager/CEO for its Fab in Germany. Chuang is considered a rising star promoted from the 18A fab manager to Vice President of Fab Operations I in this year.

Ray Chuang, a TSMC veteran since 1997, originally served as the senior manager of the 18A fab, showcasing expertise in various process technologies. Notably, he successfully led teams in the mass production of N5 and N4 process. He was elevated to Vice President of the Fab Operations I in May, 2023.

The unveiling of fab managers for TSMC’s overseas sites is progressing. In addition to the already disclosed appointments of Rick Cassidy and Dr. Y.L. Wang as Chairman and CEO of the Arizona fab, respectively, the Japanese fab (JASM) will see Vice President Y.H. Liaw, responsible for mature process production, taking the helm as CEO, according to the press release from Taiwan OCAC.

Potential Impacts May Postpone TSMC’s Fab in Germany Progress

TSMC’s plan includes the establishment of a subsidiary, European Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (ESMC) GmbH, set to build a fab in Dresden, eastern Germany. The total investment stands at EUR 10 billion, with an expected subsidy of about EUR 5 billion from the German government. Noteworthy partners in this venture, including Infineon, NXP, and Bosch, will each hold a 10% stake, while TSMC retains substantial control with over 50% ownership. The fab’s primary focus will be on producing automotive chips using 28nm/22nm processes, with an estimated capacity of 30,000 to 50,000 wafers.

The fab in Germany was initially expected to receive an EUR 5 billion subsidy, with production scheduled for 2027. However, a report from Reuters on November 23rd highlighted a ruling by the Germany’s Constitutional court that the German government’s re-location of EUR 60 billion from the pandemic fund to the climate transition fund was unconstitutional. Consequently, the German Ministry of Finance issued an emergency notice, freezing spending plans across various federal budgets. This unexpected move may impact the subsidies initially earmarked for TSMC fab in Germany.

Insights from TrendForce indicate that ESMC’s total planned production capacity is approximately 40Kwspm. The fab is set to focus on 28/22nm and 16/12nm processes, with groundbreaking expected in the latter half of 2024 and full-scale production in 2027. Forecast from TrendForce suggest that TSMC’s overseas capacity share (includes China), will rise from 9% in 2023 to 15% by 2027.
(Image: TSMC)

Explore more