TSMC and the EU are in “intense negotiations” to build a fab in Europe, industry sources told the Ojo-Yoshida Report without providing any details. It’s unclear what kind of fab TSMC would like to build, and in which country.
TSMC has been cautiously expanding its manufacturing base outside of Taiwan, building a reasonably advanced fab in the US and striking a deal with Sony to manufacture 28-12nm chips. In July last year, CEO Mark Liu mentioned that his company was evaluating Germany for a fab location. In December, the evaluation had evolved to “early talks.”
It’s generally assumed that a European TSMC fab would manufacture trailing-edge chips, primarily for the automotive market. One could argue that a leading-edge fab is no longer an option anyway since the European Chips Act allows member states to subsidize only first-of-a-kind chip manufacturing operations, and Intel cashed in on the leading-edge option already.