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New IC fab projects to draw government subsidies in Japan


TSMC, Kioxia and Micron Technology are reportedly expected to receive government subsidies in Japan to support their new fabs or expansion projects locally in Japan.

A recent Nikkei report said Japan is allocating about JPY600 billion (US$5.2 billion) of its fiscal 2021 supplementary budget to support advanced semiconductor manufacturers, such as Kioxia and Micron, which are both set to get subsidies for their local chip plants in Japan.

TSMC has noted its JV foundry project "will have strong support from the Japan government," without disclosing any numbers. Investments in the project are estimated at a total of approximately US$7 billion, of US$2.12 billion would come from the Taiwan-based foundry.

Named Japan Advanced Semiconductor Manufacturing (JASM), the JV foundry between TSMC and Sony Semiconductor Solutions will be majority-owned by the Taiwan-based foundry. JASM will offer 22nm and 28nm manufacturing processes for CMOS image sensors, automotive and industrial MCUs, and other specialty ICs.

JASM is not designed for only Sony's demand, industry sources believe. The new fab set to be run by TSMC will be fulfilling orders from all other Japan-based IDMs including Renesas and Denso, according to the sources.

Micron with its DRAM manufacturing site in Hiroshima will also attract subsidies from the Japan government, which is striving to boost the competitiveness of Japan's IC manufacturing sector, the sources said. Kioxia, ranked second in the global NAND flash memory market, will be another target enterprise of Japan's government looking to bring in their financial support, the sources indicated.

A more complete and competitive IC manufacturing sector will help Japan's local IDMs to grow and expand their global presence, prompting Japan's government to be more actively involved in the evolution of the country's chipmaking industry, the sources said.

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