Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) yesterday said it has dropped a plan to build a new fab to produce next-generation chips in the Longtan (龍潭) section of Hsinchu Science Park (新竹科學園區) amid local protests over government appropriation of privately owned land for industrial use.
TSMC issued a statement after a self-help group representing some residents of Longtan in Taoyuan, said on Facebook that the world’s biggest contract chipmaker had dropped its new fab construction plan in Longtan after negotiations broke down on Friday.
TSMC had planned to build a factory in Longtan to produce 1.4-nanometer chips, which would be its most advanced chips. Its 2-nanometer chips are scheduled to be available in 2025 and its 3-nanometer chips are already being used in Apple Inc’s latest iPhone 15 series.
Photo: Ann Wang, Reuters
“After evaluation, TSMC is no longer considering establishing a site at phase 3 of the Longtan section under present conditions,” the chipmaker said in a statement.
“TSMC will continue working with the Science Park Administration to evaluate land in Taiwan suitable for building semiconductor fabs,” it said.
It said that it is a tenant leasing land from the science park, while the government is responsible for science park planning.
“TSMC respects the local community and regulatory authorities, and we do not have further comment on land appropriation,” the chipmaker said.
The phase 3 expansion project in the Longtan section of the park would cover 158.59 hectares, about 90 percent of which is privately owned.
Since the expansion project was unveiled in December last year, it has sparked discontent among local residents.
The self-help group has protested the government’s plan to appropriate land.
The group yesterday asked the Hsinchu Science Park Administration to scrap the land appropriation plan entirely, as TSMC would no longer be building its fab in Longtan.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs said that it would help TSMC to find a new location for the fab, as the chipmaker has made it clear that a majority of its capacity would be based in Taiwan and its most advanced chips would be built here, Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua (王美花) said.
TSMC told investors early this year that it expected overseas capacity to make up about 20 percent of its total capacity for 28-nanometer and less advanced chips in five years’ time.
The chipmaker is building two advanced factories in Arizona to make 4-nanometer and 3-nanometer chips, while its factories in Japan and Germany are to produce 28-nanometer and 16-nanometer chips to satisfy local demand for automotive chips.
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