Tuesday, September 14th 2021

TSMC Rumoured to Build New Fab in Southern Taiwan

According to Nikkei, TSMC is set to start building a new fab in Kaohsiung, which is Taiwan's third largest city and located in the south of the island. It's also where ASE Technology Holding is located, which is the world's largest chip packaging and testing contractor. So far, TSMC doesn't have any fabs this far south in Taiwan, but it's not without its challenges.

The new fab is said to be designed to build chips on TSMC's 6 and 7 nm nodes, which are currently their most popular nodes, although this is likely to change as their 5 nm node begins to ramp up production. That said, there will still continue to be a huge demand for 6 and 7 nm parts, as these nodes transition to become mainstream production nodes.
This move might in part be due to pressure from the US for TSMC to reduce its investment in China, where the company was expanding at its plant in Nanjing. However, taking last year's drought into account, with Kaohsiung being one of the hardest hit areas, as well as being the third most populous area of Taiwan, water supplies are going to be a key area where TSMC is going to have to make additional investments.

The new fab is said to begin operations some time in 2023 or 2024, so it's not going to have any impact on the current chip supply issues. The factory is expected to be located on a 169.5 hectare plot of land that previously belonged to the government owned CPC corporation, which operated a naphtha cracking plant there.
Sources: Nikkei, via Taiwan News
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17 Comments on TSMC Rumoured to Build New Fab in Southern Taiwan

#1
Tardian
The new fab is said to begin operations some time in 2023 or 2024
... not soon enough.
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#2
Khonjel
According to Nikkei (no shade to them tbh) TSMC fabs are getting build everywhere these days. Next time @TheLostSwede will report it's getting built in his backyard and he's going to apply for a job there and sadly he'll have to leave TechPowerUp for fear of conflict of interest. In that case I propose he recommend @Khonjel to his position left in TPU.
Posted on Reply
#3
Tardian
KhonjelAccording to Nikkei (no shade to them tbh) TSMC fabs are getting build everywhere these days. Next time @TheLostSwede will report it's getting built in his backyard and he's going to apply for a job there and sadly he'll have to leave TechPowerUp for fear of conflict of interest. In that case I propose he recommend @Khonjel to his position left in TPU.
conflict of interest v self-interest?;)
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#5
Khonjel
FreedomEclipse*Angry China noises*

Did TSMC ever have a fab in China? Regardless, GOOD. The less you invest in China, the less they can steal from under you. Jesus christ! The whole Arm thing was fucking hilarious.
Posted on Reply
#6
Ferd
KhonjelDid TSMC ever have a fab in China?
Afaik 2 , one in Najing , the other I can’t remember
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#7
TheLostSwede
FerdAfaik 2 , one in Najing , the other I can’t remember
Shanghai, an older 200 mm wafer fab.
Posted on Reply
#8
FreedomEclipse
~Technological Technocrat~
KhonjelDid TSMC ever have a fab in China? Regardless, GOOD. The less you invest in China, the less they can steal from under you. Jesus christ! The whole Arm thing was fucking hilarious.
No but China are struggling to have enough CPUs for their machines and other devices since America has banned companies from selling to China.

This video clip explains a lot more.

Posted on Reply
#9
Solid State Brain
With China threatening to take over Taiwan by force, why build more fabs there?
Posted on Reply
#10
TheLostSwede
Solid State BrainWith China threatening to take over Taiwan by force, why build more fabs there?
Because this is where they're established? It's not as if they're not looking at expanding elsewhere too, there's that supposed plant in Arizona and they're in talk with the EU.
It is a Taiwanese company after all and the whole invasion thing is, well, complicated.
Posted on Reply
#11
Solid State Brain
TheLostSwedeBecause this is where they're established? It's not as if they're not looking at expanding elsewhere too, there's that supposed plant in Arizona and they're in talk with the EU.
It is a Taiwanese company after all and the whole invasion thing is, well, complicated.
What I mean is that once Taiwan loses independence, which is bound to happen soon (I could be wrong), TSMC becomes a Chinese company; therefore building more fabs in Taiwan means eventually handing them over to China. And, if China is currently struggling with advanced semiconductor production as suggested above by other users, that will be a good way (at least from China's point of view) to solve the problem.

So, what I am wondering is if there is a real will by TSMC and its investors to remain independent and distance themselves from China.
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#12
MentalAcetylide
Imo, I don't ever see China invading Taiwan any time in the near future, even if the US stops supporting their independence militarily. China has more to lose than they have to gain by forcefully taking over the country at this point in time. The people living in Taiwan know China could take the country by force fairly easily just as much in that China knows they would inherit a smoking ruin of a country with a completely destroyed infrastructure. They want Taiwan whole & intact, not bombed & needing to be completely rebuilt.
Posted on Reply
#13
SteveS45
Solid State BrainWhat I mean is that once Taiwan loses independence, which is bound to happen soon (I could be wrong), TSMC becomes a Chinese company; therefore building more fabs in Taiwan means eventually handing them over to China. And, if China is currently struggling with advanced semiconductor production as suggested above by other users, that will be a good way (at least from China's point of view) to solve the problem.

So, what I am wondering is if there is a real will by TSMC and its investors to remain independent and distance themselves from China.
Actually it's a bit in reverse. With global industries increased dependency on TSMC or any high-tech chip maker, any type of invasion or takeover would greatly impact production and thus the global economy. There's no way that TSMC would continue to operate smoothly during any type of conflict, logistics, supplies, labor force would all come to a halt until said conflict is resolved. This will negatively impact the whole world and China included. This actually puts a lot more political pressure on China to not break the status quo.
Posted on Reply
#14
TheLostSwede
Solid State BrainWhat I mean is that once Taiwan loses independence, which is bound to happen soon (I could be wrong), TSMC becomes a Chinese company; therefore building more fabs in Taiwan means eventually handing them over to China. And, if China is currently struggling with advanced semiconductor production as suggested above by other users, that will be a good way (at least from China's point of view) to solve the problem.

So, what I am wondering is if there is a real will by TSMC and its investors to remain independent and distance themselves from China.
Do you really think the Taiwanese government would allow Xina to take TSMCs plants without causing irreversible damage to them, if there was an invasion?
MentalAcetylideImo, I don't ever see China invading Taiwan any time in the near future, even if the US stops supporting their independence militarily. China has more to lose than they have to gain by forcefully taking over the country at this point in time. The people living in Taiwan know China could take the country by force fairly easily just as much in that China knows they would inherit a smoking ruin of a country with a completely destroyed infrastructure. They want Taiwan whole & intact, not bombed & needing to be completely rebuilt.
Fairly easily? Yeah, no, Taiwan is not an easy place to invande and an even harder place to control.
Besides, Japan and Australia seem quite keen to keep Xina out of Taiwan.
Posted on Reply
#15
Solid State Brain
TheLostSwedeDo you really think the Taiwanese government would allow Xina to take TSMCs plants without causing irreversible damage to them, if there was an invasion?
I think that invasion (or reappropriation, as China might be seeing it) might not necessarily have to take place in the form of full-scale war, if key pro-mainland China figures are installed in the right places. Most importantly, one also has to factor that the USA might not be able or possibly even willing to intervene in this matter at this point in time, so Japan and Australia would be on their own.

Though, I admit I do not have a full picture of the situation. If you actually happen to live there you will likely have a better understanding of what is going on than I do.
Posted on Reply
#16
TheLostSwede
Solid State BrainI think that invasion (or reappropriation, as China might be seeing it) might not necessarily have to take place in the form of full-scale war, if key pro-mainland China figures are installed in the right places. Most importantly, one also has to factor that the USA might not be able or possibly even willing to intervene in this matter at this point in time, so Japan and Australia would be on their own.

Though, I admit I do not have a full picture of the situation. If you actually happen to live there you will likely have a better understanding of what is going on than I do.
Considering that the KMT has lost the trust of the people, that's highly unlikely to ever happen, as the DPP is not interested to have as close ties with the Emperor as the KMT used to have.
The US has already promised to support Taiwan in case of an invasion, although I guess that doesn't mean much.

It's really impossible to even guess what will happen, but Xi has said that there will be a reunification, even if it requires violence. Then again, he seems to be stirring things up at home and is going to have a fair share of problems to deal with there.
Posted on Reply
#17
MentalAcetylide
TheLostSwedeFairly easily? Yeah, no, Taiwan is not an easy place to invande and an even harder place to control.
Besides, Japan and Australia seem quite keen to keep Xina out of Taiwan
Unfortunately, yes, in a scenario where China simply just wants to take possession of the island country and could care less about keeping anything intact. When you take into consideration geography, military numbers, and the ability to project force, China has the clear advantage given Taiwan's close proximity to the mainland. Even augmented with Japan and Australian forces, who would have to deal with Chinese area denial, Taiwan would still be sorely outnumbered & surrounded. Their whole doctrine in regards to defense of the island is heavily dependent on them being able to hold out long enough for the US military to get there in sufficient numbers.
Anyway, like I said before, its unlikely China is going to start a shooting war trying to gain possession of Taiwan as it would defeat the whole purpose.
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