Paul van Gerven
21 November 2023

TSMC is considering construction of a 3nm fab in Japan, supply chain sources told Bloomberg. It would be the foundry’s third major chip manufacturing project in the East Asian nation. Working with Sony and Denso, TSMC is already building a chip plant for 12nm, 16nm and 22nm ICs. A 5nm facility is said to be in the works as well. The Japanese government typically covers about 50 percent of fab construction costs.

Rapidus plant
Rendering of Rapidus’ 2nm fab. Credit: Rapidus

In addition to attracting foreign chipmakers, Japan is developing leading-edge semiconductor technology domestically. Backed by eight Japanese companies, and partnering with Imec and IBM, chipmaker Rapidus aims to start 2nm pilot production in 2025 and move to high-volume manufacturing by 2027. Rapidus is also a partner in Japan’s Leading-Edge Semiconductor Technology Center (LSTC), which this week announced a collaboration with France’s Leti to develop 1nm transistor technology.