It seems like we’re slowly but surely getting out of the global chip shortage that has devastated most of the world’s electronics, with more computer parts coming back into supply and more importantly prices dropping back down too. That doesn’t mean it’s completely over though, and perhaps no one knows that better than Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC).
As part of its continued expansion plans, a new report from Wall Street Journal suggests that TSMC is in discussion with the Singaporean government over a potential new chip factory in the city-state. Specifically, the Singaporean government’s Economic Development Board seem interested in bringing them over, and they will likely also help TSMC fund the new fabrication plant. TSMC has already set aside a capital expenditure budget of USD40 billion to USD44 billion this year, which will include new factories.
So far though, no final decision has been made just yet over a Singaporean TSMC semiconductor factory. It’s unlikely that the new Singaporean TSMC plant will house cutting edge chip production. Instead, it will probably be responsible for manufacturing older 7nm to 28nm silicon. These chips may be older technology but is still widely used in everything from smartphones, cars and household appliances.
It would just be the latest new plant TSMC has outside of Taiwan, having already spent USD12 billion for new factories in the United States as well as another chip factory in Japan planned for next year. It’s part of their plans to reduce their dependance on their Taiwanese plants.
Singapore also makes sense as an ideal location for TSMC. Our neighbours down south are already one of the leaders in the region in the semiconductor industry, with a number of companies such as Micron, Infineon and GlobalFoundries especially having factories and offices in Singapore. They already account for roughly 5% of the global wafer fabrication capacity, and that number is only set to go up with GlobalFoundries also planning a new USD4 billion chip plant for next year.