TSMC Opens First Fabrication Plant in Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan

Richard Brown
2 min readFeb 27, 2024

TSMC, the world’s leading contract chipmaker, officially opened its first fabrication plant in Japan on February 24th, 2024. The inauguration signifies a critical milestone in TSMC’s strategy to diversify its manufacturing base beyond Taiwan and cater to the rising global demand for semiconductors. The company is also building other manufacturing facilities in Phoenix, Arizona, and Dresden, Germany.

The ceremony at the Japan Advanced Semiconductor Manufacturing, Inc. (JASM) fab in Kumamoto Prefecture was attended by TSMC’s top executives and high-profile figures from the Japanese government, industry partners, and academia. This high-level participation underscores the strategic significance of the project for both TSMC and Japan.

In a congratulatory video message, the Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida lauded the plant’s opening as a “giant first step” in bolstering the capabilities of Japan’s semiconductor industry as part of the country’s broader ambition to revitalize its once-dominant chip production industry and reduce its dependency on imported chips.

JASM is poised to begin operations later this year. TSMC and minority investors Sony Semiconductor Solutions (SSS), DENSO, and Toyota also recently revealed plans for a second fab at the JASM site. Construction of the plant is set to begin by the end of 2024, and it is expected to go into operation in late 2027.

Overall investment in JASM will exceed US$20 billion. When the two fabs are in operation, the site is expected to achieve a total production capacity of over 100,000 12-inch wafers per month.

The JASM Kumamoto site will focus on manufacturing advanced chips for automotive, industrial, consumer, and high-performance computing applications. As part of its stringent sustainability practices, the site will use 100% renewable energy when it starts operation, replenish more than 100% of the groundwater it uses, and build a local supply chain.

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Richard Brown

I live in Taiwan and am interested in exploring what ancient Chinese philosophy can tell us about technology and the rise of modern China.