Monday, November 13, 2023
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) still intends to locate its proposed 1.4 nanometer wafer fab in Taiwan despite abandoning its original plan to build it in the Longtan section of the Hsinchu Science Park, its chairman said Thursday.
Speaking with reporters on the sidelines of the "K.T. Li (???) Award" ceremony held on Thursday, TSMC Chairman Mark Liu (???) confirmed that "TSMC will let the 1.4nm process development stay in Taiwan," without elaborating.
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TSMC began mass production of chips made using the 3nm process in Tainan at the end of 2022, becoming the first contract chipmaker in the world to roll out chips using such an advanced technology in the world.
TSMC has also scheduled commercial production of the 2nm process in Hsinchu for 2025, and it is developing an even more cutting-edge 1.4nm process.
It was thought that TSMC would locate the new factory in the Longtan section of the Hsinchu Science Park after the park bureau announced in December 2022 that it would do so, though TSMC itself never commented on the announcement.
The fab was to be located on a 158.59-hectare parcel of land that was part of a third expansion phase of the Longtan park that had yet to be expropriated for science park use but was considered feasible for the project after a bureau assessment in mid-November 2022.
In October 2023, however, TSMC announced it was abandoning the plan amid strong opposition from many residents who would be affected by the proposed land expropriation.
They complained that the expansion project, which would expropriate about 88 percent of the land needed from private owners, would affect about 3,000 residents, with some having lived there for generations.
They also argued that more than 200 students at an elementary school to be torn down would have to be assigned to new schools.
There had been concerns that TSMC would consider locating the plant overseas after the Longtan site fell through, given that the company has intensified efforts to diversify its global production at the behest of its clients.
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TSMC is building two advanced wafer plants in Arizona, is working on one wafer fab in Japan and considering the possibility of building another there, and recently announced it would set up a joint venture to erect another wafer fab in Germany.
After TSMC announced it was dropping the Longtan plan, however, several cities and counties around Taiwan expressed an interest in hosting the 1.4nm fab, including Chiayi, Tainan, Kaohsiung and Pingtung in southern Taiwan.
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Economic Affairs Minister Wang Mei-hua (???) has said the government will try its best to help TSMC find a suitable location for the 1.4nm process fab, and described TSMC's investments as being strategically important to national security.
Wang said the Central Taiwan Science Park has a parcel of land ready for TSMC, but whether it would build a 1.4nm fab there is up to the company.
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