Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電 ) yesterday said it is postponing the construction of a new fab in Kaohsiung for the production of 7-nanometer (nm) chips in response to weak demand, but the world’s biggest contract chipmaker reiterated its commitment to continue investing in advanced technology in Taiwan.
TSMC chief executive officer C.C. Wei (魏哲家) made the announcement at an Industrial Technology Research Institute (工研院) event in Hsinchu yesterday, after recent speculation about the company’s capacity expansion plan in Kaohsiung.
Last month, Wei told investors that TSMC had initially planned to build two factories to make 7-nanometer and 28-nanometer wafers in the new Nanzih Technology Industrial Park in Kaohsiung.
Photo: Tyrone Siu, REUTERS
With the semiconductor industry entering an inventory correction cycle, TSMC has “adjusted” the fab for the 7-nanometer factory due to weak demand for chips used in smartphones and computers, Wei said.
In the fourth quarter of this year, the capacity utilization of 7-nanometer and 6-nanometer chips would not be as high as it had been in the past three years, he said.
However, the plan to build the 28-nanometer fab would proceed on schedule and could even be expanded, he said.
The chipmaker has yet to break ground on either project. A groundbreaking ceremony for the park was held in August. The park is on a site where state-owned oil company CPC Corp, Taiwan (中油), used to operate a naphtha cracker.
To build a resilient supply chain, TSMC is building capacity in the US and Japan. The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday that TSMC aimed to build a second chipmaking plant in Arizona.
TSMC said it is evaluating the possibility of the expansion plan, but nothing is substantial yet.
More than 20,000 employees at Apple Inc supplier Foxconn Technology Group’s (富士康) huge Chinese plant, mostly new hires not yet working on production lines, have left, a Foxconn source familiar with the matter said yesterday. The departures from the world’s largest iPhone factory dealt a fresh blow to the Taiwanese company, which has been grappling with strict COVID-19 restrictions that have fueled worker discontent and disrupted production ahead of Christmas and January’s Lunar New Year holiday. Concerns are mounting over Apple’s ability to deliver products for the busy holiday period as the worker unrest lingers at the Zhengzhou plant, which produces the
FACTORY TUMULT: The departure of new workers impact production less than the quarantines imposed on existing employees, a worker at China’s ‘iPhone city’ said Turmoil at Apple Inc’s key manufacturing hub in Zhengzhou is likely to result in a production shortfall of almost 6 million iPhone Pro units this year, a person familiar with assembly operations said. The situation remains fluid at the plant and the estimate of lost production could change, the person said, asking not to be named discussing private information. Much depends on how quickly Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密), the Taiwanese company that operates the facility, can get people back to assembly lines after violent protests against COVID-19 restrictions. If lockdowns continue in the weeks ahead, production could be set further
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (阿里巴巴) founder Jack Ma (馬雲) has been living in Tokyo for almost six months after disappearing from public view following China’s crackdown on the tech sector, the Financial Times reported yesterday, citing multiple unnamed sources. The billionaire has kept a low profile since the crackdown, which has included Chinese regulators scrapping the initial public offering of Ma’s Ant Group Co (螞蟻集團) and issuing Alibaba with record fines. However, the Times said he has spent much of the past six months with his family in Tokyo and other parts of Japan, along with visits to the US and Israel. The
’INHERENT VULNERABILITIES’: The country has been working with the US to build its own lithium and rare earth mines in a bid to curb China’s dominance in the market Australia is vowing more assertive scrutiny of foreign investments in key commodities tied to electric vehicles and clean energy, in a potential warning to China which dominates the market. Australian Treasurer Jim Chalmers has asked the country’s Treasury to work with the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board and other stakeholders to undertake a review of foreign investment in sectors such as lithium and rare earths, he told a conference in Sydney yesterday. “We’ll need to be more assertive about encouraging investment that clearly aligns with our national interest in the longer term,” Chalmers said. Although Chalmers did not directly identify China investment as