[News] TSMC’s Kumamoto Plant Production Capacity Set for Significant Leap, Gradually Increasing to 55,000 Wafers per Month

2023-12-18 Semiconductors editor

The new chip plant in Kumamoto, Japan, operated by Japan Advanced Semiconductor Manufacturing (JASM), a joint venture between Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), Sony, and Denso, is poised for substantial capacity growth.

JASM President Yuichi Horita revealed that after commencing production in the fourth quarter of 2024, the plant’s production capacity will gradually ramp up, targeting a full capacity of 55,000 12-inch wafers per month.

Simultaneously, TSMC aims to enhance Japan’s semiconductor supply chain and ecosystem, looking to a 60% local contribution by 2030, a significant increase from the current 25%.

Yuichi Horita unveiled the latest plan for TSMC’s Kumamoto plant during his speech at the SEMICON Japan. He emphasized that TSMC’s Kumamoto plant is actively working to establish a local supply chain and ecosystem in Japan.

The current proportion of equipment and materials sourced from Japan for the Kumamoto plant is approximately 25%. The goal is to increase this to 50% by 2026 and achieve 60% by 2030. The progress in constructing production capacity, trial production, and mass production is in line with the original plan.

Yuichi Horita stated that the current workforce at the Kumamoto facility stands at 1,700 employees. Among them, around 600 are dispatched by TSMC and Sony, with the remaining being newly recruited staff.

The production capacity of the new Kumamoto plant primarily focuses on 28/22 nanometers and 16/12 nanometers. In the initial phase, the majority of the capacity is allocated to the manufacturing of Image Signal Processor (ISP) used in CMOS image sensors, as part of Sony’s outsourcing.

The remaining capacity is dedicated to automotive parts supplier Denso, where they outsource the production of automotive microcontroller unit (MCU), with Denso reportedly able to obtain approximately 10,000 wafers per month.

Reportedly, in industry analysis, although Japan’s recent performance in foundry has not matched that of Taiwan, South Korea, and China, Japan’s semiconductor equipment supply chain is already quite mature and comprehensive.

Major players in the field, such as Nikon in lithography equipment, and Hitachi High-Tech, renowned for etching equipment and critical dimension scanning electron microscopy (CD-SEM), have established dominance.

Additionally, Japanese companies specializing in chemical solutions, gases, and materials have also secured significant positions. All of these factors make them crucial partners for supporting the development of TSMC’s Kumamoto plant in the future.

Industry source suggests that in the future, the Japanese government will not only continue to subsidize semiconductor manufacturing but also strengthen collaboration between the semiconductor industry and academia to attract more talent into the semiconductor industry.

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(Photo credit: TSMC)

Please note that this article cites information from UDN.