11 Oct 2021 -

Sony and TSMC discuss $7 billion joint chip fab

According to reports in Japanese media, TSMC, currently the world’s largest contract chipmaker, and Sony Group are considering a joint investment of approximately US$7b to build a Japanese semiconductor fab.

The report pointed out that the fab will be located in Kumamoto Prefecture, adjacent to Sony’s current image sensor factory. Sony will be the main customer of this new fab and will hold a minority stake in the semiconductor factory management company established by TSMC.

The fab will be used to produce camera image sensors, as well as chips used in automobiles and other products, and is scheduled to be put into operation in 2023 or 2024.

Nikkei reported that in the context of chip shortages, the Japanese government is paying more and more attention to maintaining the stability of the supply chain and will support the project in the form of subsidies. As early as the 2010s, Japanese chipmakers had withdrawn from the competition for large-scale chip development. Japan hoped to revive the production of advanced Japanese products by accepting direct investment from TSMC.

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