1 trillion yen, TSMC and Sony want to jointly build a factory?

According to Japanese media sources, under the leadership of the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, TSMC and Sony may build a front-end engineering factory in Japan, with a total investment of more than 1 trillion yen, but whether the plan can be implemented depends on whether the Japanese government increases Invest.

According to reports, the joint venture will be led by TSMC, and Japanese companies other than Sony may also partially contribute. The front-end engineering factory is located near Sony’s current image sensor factory in Kikuyo-cho, Kumamoto Prefecture. It is expected to produce automobiles, chip products for industrial machinery, home appliances, etc. will be built in the future, such as packaging and other back-end engineering factories.

In response to the rumor, Sony officials replied to Reuters that “for speculation, no comment.” TSMC did not immediately reply to the media.

TSMC locks down the car

The shortage of automotive chips is a hot topic at present, and automotive chips will also have a big market in the future. TSMC seems to be full of confidence in automotive chips.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Raimondo held a video conference on the 20th U.S. time to discuss chip shortages with U.S. auto industry leaders and other semiconductor industry executives. TSMC was also invited to attend the meeting, and issued a statement after the meeting, saying that in order to support the global automotive industry, unprecedented actions have been taken. This year’s MCU production has increased by 60% compared with last year to solve the current chip shortage problem.

As the world’s largest automotive MCU company, an unexpected fire caused serious losses to Renesas and cast a shadow over the global automotive market. According to previous foreign media reports, in order to quickly restore production capacity, Renesas has outsourced the production of some chips to TSMC.

As for Sony, today (May 26), Sony announced on its official website that it will make a strategic investment of 2 trillion yen in the three years from fiscal 2021 to fiscal year 2023. The investment focus is still on IP and direct-to-consumer. projects as well as technology and stock buybacks.

If TSMC builds a factory in Japan, it will not only alleviate Sony’s image sensor production capacity problem, but may also help with the shortage of automotive chip production capacity, greatly reducing supply chain risks.

Budget is the key

The key factor that determines whether the plant can be built is whether the Japanese government’s funds are in place.

At present, a new round of semiconductor money-making competition is going on all over the world. South Korea has spent 450 billion US dollars in 10 years, the 17 EU countries have invested 145 billion euros to hit 2nm, and the United States has recently spent 52 billion US dollars, which will be vigorously promoted in the next five years. Production and research of semiconductor chips in the United States.

There is no definite news about Japan’s investment in this area, but Professor Lin Xiushu of the Tokyo University of Science Research Institute pointed out: “Japan should invest 10 trillion yen in the semiconductor field, and should work with partner countries to devote themselves to talent and technology research and development. “.

The semiconductor division of the Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association (JEITA) also advised the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, saying: “It is difficult to compete on an equal footing with competitors from other countries or regions. If this situation continues, it will take about 10 years. The post-semiconductor industry will disappear from Japan.”

“Red Man” TSMC

In this semiconductor arms race, TSMC has become the biggest winner and is the target of all countries’ efforts to win over. The EU has provided tens of billions of euros to subsidize foreign companies, hoping that Intel, TSMC and Samsung will build factories in Europe.

The United States is also in constant contact with TSMC, and various semiconductor conferences have invited TSMC to participate, and TSMC’s 5nm factory in Arizona is also advancing in an orderly manner. Earlier this month, Reuters reported that in addition to the original fab, TSMC also plans to build an additional 5 fabs in Arizona, which means that a total of 6 fabs will be built.

According to people familiar with the matter, this was requested by the U.S. government, but it is still unclear about the capacity and investment plan of the additional new plant, and it is still unclear what kind of process will be adopted.

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