Paul van Gerven
24 May 2022

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 fab 2
Credit: TSMC

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.