Analysts say TSMC, Taichung meeting may indicate plans for new chip plant

A meeting last week between Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) chief executive C.C. Wei (魏哲家) and Taichung Mayor Lu Shiow-yen (盧秀燕) is believed by some analysts to indicate that the chipmaker is planning to build a 2-nanometer fabrication plant in the city.

Accompanied by three TSMC vice presidents — Wang Ying-lang (王英郎) of fab operations, Arthur Chuang (莊子壽) of the facility division and Jonathan Lee (李俊賢) of corporate planning — Wei met with Lu and a team of top city officials on Friday, the city government said in a statement on Saturday.

Lu expressed that hope that TSMC, the world’s largest contract chipmaker, could build plants in Taichung and help boost the city’s economic development, it said.

ENVIRONMENT

The statement quoted Wei as saying that Taichung’s climate and location are excellent, while its numerous schools, malls and hospitals attract talent to settle and work there, making the city a good place for the company to expand its manufacturing capacity.

Lu praised the city’s “favorable investment environment,” telling TSMC officials that since she took office three years ago, a number of companies have invested in the city, such as the second-phase expansion of the Mitsui Outlet Park at the Port of Taichung and the construction of the Lalaport shopping center operated by the Mitsui brand, as well as several offshore wind power projects, the statement said.

The central government’s “Invest in Taiwan” initiative has attracted 231 companies to Taichung, creating more than 21,000 local jobs, Lu added.

On Saturday, TSMC told the Central News Agency that the company has a wafer plant in Taichung and Wei paid a courtesy visit to the city government.

However, analysts have said that there was no precedent for the CEO to visit the local government where its production facility is located.

SPECULATION

Considering the management team members who attended the meeting, analysts have speculated that the visit had something to do with the company’s plan to expand production capacity at its 2-nanometer fab in Taichung.

After it scaled up production of its 5-nanometer chips last year, TSMC said that it would begin mass producing 3-nanometer chips in the second half of next and 2-nanometer chips in 2025.

A company source familiar with the matter said that TSMC plans to develop a plot of land in Hsinchu’s Baoshan Township (寶山), which would include a 2-nanometer fab.

However, the plot is not big enough to allow the company to expand its production facilities, so TSMC management might be seeking a new lot on which to build another factory in Taichung, the source said.

Resource: Taipei Times

Photo courtesy of the Taichung City Government