Tainan, Taiwan (Reuters) – Chipmaker TSMC began mass production of its most advanced chips in southern Taiwan on Thursday, and the company’s chairman said it would continue to expand capacity there.
At the time of the long-awaited mass production of 3nm technology chips, the investment plan of the world’s largest foundry chip manufacturer at home and abroad has attracted much attention. As a maker of advanced chips, TSMC dominates technologies such as mobile phones and fighter jets.
“TSMC has invested heavily in Taiwan while maintaining its technological leadership, continues to invest and prospers with the environment,” TSMC Chairman Mark Liu said at a production and capacity expansion ceremony in the southern city of Tainan.
Demand for the company’s 3-nanometer chips is “very strong,” Liu said, driven by new technologies such as 5G and high-performance computing products. He did not elaborate.
Earlier this month, TSMC said it would more than triple its planned investment in a new Arizona plant to $40 billion, one of the largest foreign investments in U.S. history.
The Taiwanese company, whose major clients include Apple and Nvidia, is also building a chip factory in Japan and said it was in the early stages of reviewing the possibility of expanding to Germany.
In response to concerns that TSMC’s foreign investment would weaken Taiwan’s key position in semiconductors, Liu said the production showed that TSMC was “taking concrete actions to develop advanced technologies and expand production capacity in Taiwan.”
Taiwan’s government has dismissed concerns about a “farewell to Taiwan” trend in the chip industry, saying the island’s position as a major semiconductor producer and maker of the most advanced chips is secure.
Mass production has been successful with high yields, Liu said, adding that the new 3-nanometer technology will create end products with a market value of $1.5 trillion within five years.
TSMC said it is working hard to build factories for next-generation 2-nanometer chips, and plans to produce them in northern and central Taiwan.
TSMC has repeatedly said that most of its manufacturing will remain in Taiwan.
(Reporting by Li Yimou and Wang An; Editing by Stephen Coates)