Sony and TSMC: Japan pays half of $ 7 billion chip factory

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Sony and TSMC: Japan pays half of $ 7 billion chip factory

Image: TSMC

A topic for months, now it’s time to start: TSMC and Sony are jointly building a new semiconductor plant for over 7 billion US dollars. This is also made possible by the long-running issue of subsidies, the state of Japan will provide around half of the money, according to media reports.

Japan had fallen behind

All states and associations of states see semiconductor production as critical for the future. This of course also applies to Japan, which has had a say in this branch for decades, but recently fell behind the pure foundries.

So that this remains at least at the level of today in the future, extensive subsidies have been decided or are on the way and should be approved shortly.

Investments of $ 7.2 billion

Only then will it be possible for TSMC to set up its plant in Japan. Sony will provide its own land for this and take over part of the management, but ultimately only be a small shareholder. Since the factory is supposed to manufacture image sensors for cameras, among other things, Sony sees it as fundamentally important to have a secure supply for the future nearby. Even the major automotive supplier Denso, Part of the Toyota family, is named as a possible partner for the factory, because chips for the automotive industry are also in great demand and should be manufactured in the factory. Ultimately, this is exactly what the Japanese government wants, which is why it is supporting the project with extensive subsidies. The total investment is currently estimated at almost 7.2 billion US dollars, and the first series products could be delivered in 2024.

No money without a corresponding consideration

But Japan will not give the money without something in return, according to media reports. The supply for the domestic market should then also have priority, they say. The companies involved should sign a commitment for this. Such contractual clauses are so far hardly known in other new semiconductor factory buildings around the world, but Globalfoundry’s new factory in the USA is also managed with taxpayers’ money and is probably also financed by the Pentagon, so that a similar clause will probably also apply there.

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