[News] TSMC’s JASM Kumamoto Plant 2 Greenlit, Construction Expected to Commence by Year’s End

TSMC officially gives the green light to the second fab in Kumamoto, Japan! On January 6th, TSMC, Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corporation (SSS), DENSO Corporation (DENSO), and Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) jointly announced further investment in TSMC’s Japanese subsidiary, Japan Advanced Semiconductor Manufacturing, Inc. (JASM).


The collaboration is expected to construct JASM’s second fab in Japan, dedicated to the 6/7-nanometer advanced process. The new facility is expected to commence operations by the end of 2027, with a total investment exceeding USD 20 billion, strongly supported by the Japanese government.

TSMC has stated that in this investment venture with JASM, TSMC, SSS, DENSO, and Toyota hold approximately 86.5%, 6.0%, 5.5%, and 2.0% of JASM shares, respectively. Toyota Motor Corporation is a new major shareholder following this capital increase, indicating its potential involvement in automotive electronics initiatives.

TSMC has further indicated that the construction of JASM’s second fab in Japan is set to commence at the end of 2024. The expansion in production capacity is expected to optimize overall cost structure and supply chain efficiency.

With two fabs in Kumamoto, TSMC anticipates in the press release that JASM’s total monthly production capacity will exceed 100,000 12-inch wafers, offering process technologies ranging from 40nm, 22/28nm, 12/16nm, to 6/7nm for automotive, industrial, consumer, and high-performance computing (HPC) applications. Capacity planning may be further adjusted based on customer demand.

For JASM’s first fab, it is planned to commence production by the end of the year. The initial facility, costing USD 8.6 billion, received subsidies of JPY 478 billion (approximately USD 3.23 billion) from the Japanese government.

The primary process of the first fab are 22/28nm and 12/16nm, with a monthly production capacity of around 50,000 12-inch wafers. Located in Kikuyo-cho, Kikuyo-gun, Kumamoto Prefecture, Kyushu, construction of the facility was announced in November 2021, ground was broken in April 2022, and construction was completed within two years.

JASM’s first fab is set to open on February 24, 2024, with mass production scheduled by the end of the year. The facility is a joint venture between Taiwan and Japan, with TSMC holding the majority of shares, Sony Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation (SSMC) of Japan holding approximately 20%, and Toyota Group’s DENSO holding about 10%.

Read more


[Insights] EV Development Faces New Challenges, Porsche CFO Suggests Delay in European Ban on New Fuel Cars

Porsche’s Chief Financial Officer Lutz Meschke has stated in a media interview following the conclusion of the Macan EV unveiling on January 25, 2024, that Europe’s initial plan to ban the sale of new fuel cars by 2035 may be postponed, as reported by Bloomberg.

TrendForce’s Insights:

  • Prolonging the Battle and Gradually Narrowing the Gap with Chinese Automakers through Trade Barriers

In March 2023, the European Union passed a ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars starting from 2035.

Due to opposition from Germany and Italy, after coordination, the European Union agreed not to ban models using synthetic fuels. Range anxiety of electric vehicles continue to affect the willingness of end consumers to purchase cars, becoming the biggest obstacle to the growth of electric vehicle sales.

Coupled with China’s electric vehicle market, which accounts for over 50% of global BEV sales, nurturing Chinese automakers led by BYD, who continuously lead in the technical level of the the battery system, the electric drive system, and the electronic control system compared to Europe, America, and Japan.

Not long ago, Tesla CEO Elon Musk stated that without trade barriers, Chinese automakers would destroy the vast majority of their competitors. Whether this statement is exaggerated or not, trade barriers currently serve as the most effective means for Europe and the United States to prevent the continued growth and expansion of Chinese automakers, as exemplified by the United States’ IRA legislation and the European Union’s anti-subsidy investigations.

Delaying the implementation of the ban on the sale of new fuel cars can synergize with trade barriers, allowing consumers to maintain distance from Chinese-made electric vehicles. This approach provides breathing space for European automakers and US and Japanese automakers in the fuel car market.

With the Dual Strategy of Western and Japanese Automakers, Taiwanese Manufacturers Need Greater Flexibility in Planning

Assuming the postponement of the ban on the sale of new fuel cars, automakers in Europe, the United States, and Japan may simultaneously pursue synthetic fuel technology based on traditional fuel car frameworks while continuing to develop electric vehicle technology.

However, this dual approach, which does not favor one technology over the other, is likely to affect the allocation of resources for electric vehicles. During the era of internal combustion engine vehicles, dominated by Western, Japanese automakers, and Tier 1 suppliers due to various constraints such as patents and technological barriers, it has been challenging for Taiwan to access system-level supply opportunities.

In the era of electric vehicles, Fukuta Elec & Mach Co.’s all-in-one electric drive and control system has entered Mazda’s range-extended electric vehicle supply chain, while Foxconn has launched an electric vehicle manufacturing platform to vie for opportunities in complete vehicle manufacturing from carmakers. Consequently, Taiwan is gradually moving from Tier 3 and Tier 2 to Tier 1.

If automakers in Europe, the United States, and Japan adopt a dual strategy, Taiwanese manufacturers’ opportunities in the electric vehicle field may face reduction or fiercer competition.

Apart from continuously strengthening relevant technologies in the electric vehicle domain, Taiwanese manufacturers also need to enhance the commonality and modularity of their product lines to adapt to the ever-changing industrial regulations under geopolitical shifts.

Read more

(Photo credit: Pixabay)

Please note that this article cites information from Bloomberg.


[News] Semiconductor Equipment Sales in Japan Reach Nearly JPY 3.3 Trillion in 2023

On January 26th, the Semiconductor Equipment Association of Japan (SEAJ) released statistical data revealing that in December 2023, sales of semiconductor equipment in Japan amounted to JPY 305.799 billion (approximately USD 2.07 billion), marking a 2.4% increase from November 2023.

This represents the second consecutive month of month-on-month growth. However, compared to the same month in 2022, there was a slight decline of 0.3%, marking the seventh consecutive month of contraction. Nonetheless, this decline is significantly smaller compared to the 11% decrease observed in the previous month.

In 2023, the total annual sales of semiconductor equipment in Japan amounted to roughly JPY 3.29 trillion (approximately USD 22.26 billion), reflecting a 6.7% year-on-year decrease. Despite the decline, this figure still represents the second-highest sales record in history, second only to the JPY 3.85 trillion (approximately USD 26.05 billion) recorded in 2022.

SEAJ predicts that aside from the recovery of foundries and logic manufacturers, expenditures from memory manufacturers are expected to significantly rebound in the second half of the fiscal year 2023 (from September 2023 to March 2024). It is anticipated that the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) will continue at 10% until March 2026.

Moreover, driven by the demand for new expenditures related to artificial intelligence (AI), semiconductor equipment sales in Japan are forecasted to surge by 27% in the fiscal year 2024 (starting from April 2024), reaching JPY 4.03 trillion (approximately USD 27 billion).

TrendForce has previously reported that Japan’s resurgence in the semiconductor arena is palpable, with the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry fostering multi-faceted collaborations with the private sector. With a favorable exchange rate policy aiding factory construction and investments, the future looks bright for exports.

Read more

Please note that this article cites information from SEAJ.


[News] Intel, SK Hynix, and NTT Japan Collaborate to Develop Next-Generation Silicon Photonics Technology

Japanese telecommunications operator NTT is reportedly collaborating with American chipmaker Intel and other semiconductor manufacturers to research large-scale production of next-generation semiconductor technology, which involves significantly reducing power consumption using optical technology.

According to a report from Nikkei, SK Hynix is also set to participate in this initiative, expected to counter China through collaborative research and development strategies.

Meanwhile, the Japanese government will provide approximately JPY 45 billion in support. As cited by Nikkei quoting Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry, Japan can lead the world in this technology as part of its strategy to revitalize the national semiconductor industry.

These companies are reportedly aiming to develop equipment manufacturing technology that integrates light with semiconductors and memory technology capable of storing data at Terabit-class speeds by the fiscal year 2027. Intel will provide technical development suggestions, aiming to reduce power consumption by 30-40% compared to conventional products.

As semiconductor scaling reaches physical limits, as per a report from TechNews, the industry is turning towards light. When combined with semiconductors, known as silicon photonics, it is expected to significantly reduce energy consumption. This technology is also seen as potentially game-changing for the semiconductor industry.

Signals received through optical communication is converted into electrical signals by specialized equipment, which are then transmitted to data center servers. Semiconductors within the servers then exchange electrical signals to process computations and memory. With the proliferation of AI and the need to process massive amounts of data, the demand for optical technology is anticipated to increase.

The integration of silicon photonics still presents numerous challenges, primarily concerning interface communication protocols. Consequently, synchronization in communication among semiconductor manufacturers is essential for the realization of silicon photonics technology.

Therefore, NTT aims to coordinate necessary technologies through collaboration with Intel and SK Hynix.

NTT holds a global leadership position in integrating optical and electronic technologies, having successfully pioneered the foundational technology of using light for transistor circuits. This achievement was published in the British scientific journal “Nature Photonics” in 2019, leading to the introduction of the IOWN (Innovative Optical and Wireless Network) fully optical network based on this technology.

(Photo credit: Intel)

Please note that this article cites information from Nikkei and TechNews.


[News] Multiple Fabs in Japan to Commence Production Post-2024 Boosting Industry

With the highly anticipated opening of TSMC’s Kumamoto fab on February 24th, 2024, multiple Japanese or global semiconductor manufacturers are set to begin large-scale production in newly established plants in Japan.

According to sources cited by TechNews, this development will stimulate the growth and advancement of Japan’s domestic semiconductor supply chain, enhancing Japan’s semiconductor manufacturing capabilities, transitioning from Renesas Electronics’ 40-nanometer process to JASM’s 12-nanometer process.

TSMC Kumamoto Fab Set to Open on February 24

In Kikuyo Town, Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan Advanced Semiconductor Manufacturing (JASM) company, jointly invested by TSMC, SONY, and Japan’s DENSO, is currently constructing a 12-inch fab.

▲ TSMC’s Layout of Global Production Capacity Edited by TrendForce, January, 2024

The facility will employ 12/16-nanometer and 22/28-nanometer process, focusing on the production of chips for automotive electronic applications. The fab is scheduled to open on February 24, with mass production expected to commence in the fourth quarter of 2024.

This shift is regarded as the first step in Japan’s semiconductor revitalization policy. In support of this initiative, the Japanese government has provided a financial subsidy of JPY 476 billion (approximately USD 3.2 billion) to the JASM fab, covering nearly one-third of the total expenditure, which amounts to USD 8.6 billion.

Kioxia and Western Digital Jointly Constructing 12-Inch Plant

NAND Flash memory giants Kioxia and Western Digital are jointly investing in the construction of a 12-inch plant in Yokkaichi, Mie Prefecture. The facility is set to begin preparing for mass production of 3D NAND Flash memory products by March 2024.

Industry sources note that the plant’s construction will cost JPY 280 billion (approximately USD 1.8 billion ), with the Japanese government providing up to 92.9 billion yen (approximately USD 600 million) in subsidies.

Another Kioxia and Western Digital joint venture plant located in Kitakami, Iwate Prefecture, is slated to open in the second half of 2024. Originally scheduled for completion in 2023, the project faced delays due to unfavorable market conditions.

Renesas Electronics Expands Power Semiconductor Capacity

Renesas Electronics is set to launch a new power semiconductor production line in 2024. However, since the company’s Kofu factory in Yamanashi Prefecture closed in October 2014, Renesas is committing JPY 90 billion to install a 12-inch wafer production line at its existing facility to meet the growing demand for power semiconductors, especially in electric vehicles (EVs).

The new production line will enable Renesas Electronics to enhance its capacity for power semiconductors such as IGBT and MOSFET, with plans to achieve mass production by 2024. Renesas Electronics’ expansion plan is expected to receive subsidy support from the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry.

Toshiba and ROHM Semiconductor Collaborate to Integrate Production Lines for Power Semiconductors

Toshiba and ROHM Semiconductor have reached an agreement to collaborate. Under the agreement, Toshiba’s power semiconductor factory will begin integrating production with ROHM’s newly developed Silicon Carbide (SiC) power semiconductor plant in Kunitomi City, Miyazaki Prefecture. This collaboration is expected to receive government subsidies equivalent to one-third of the investment in the project.

Japan’s New Fab Projects Beyond 2025

Beyond 2025, Japan is set to witness the emergence of several new plants, including Micron Technology’s new 1-gamma (1γ) DRAM production facility in Hiroshima Prefecture.

JSMC, a foundry subsidiary of Powerchip Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation (PSMC), is collaborating with Japan’s financial group SBI to complete construction by 2027 and begin chip production thereafter.

Additionally, Japanese semiconductor startup Rapidus plans to commence production of 2-nanometer chips in Hokkaido by 2027.

Furthermore, TSMC is currently evaluating plans for its second plant in Japan, expected to be located in Kikuyo Town, Kumamoto Prefecture. Reports suggest that TSMC is set to officially announce the location of the second wafer plant on February 6th.

Earlier discussions by TSMC Chairman Mark Liu regarding the second plant in Japan indicated ongoing evaluations and discussions with the Japanese government. Once the decision to build the second plant is finalized, it is anticipated to manufacture products utilizing 7-nanometer to 16-nanometer process technologies.

Japan’s resurgence in the semiconductor arena is palpable, with the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry fostering multi-faceted collaborations with the private sector. With a favorable exchange rate policy aiding factory construction and investments, the future looks bright for exports.

However, the looming shortage of semiconductor talent in Japan is a concern. In response, there are generous subsidy programs for talent development. Japan is strategically positioning itself to reclaim its former glory in the world of semiconductors.

Read more

(Photo credit: TSMC)

Please note that this article cites information from TechNews.

  • Page 1
  • 5 page(s)
  • 25 result(s)