While we cope tetchily with semiconductor shortages in 2021, various chipmakers have made huge investments to cater for what seems to be an inexorable increase in demand for these essential components of modern technology. Intel's ambition with its IDM 2.0 strategy means that it is going to invest heavily in chip making, and it followed up a major strategic announcement quite shortly with plans such as its significant upgrade to the Rio Rancho New Mexico facilities. Meanwhile, rivals like Samsung and TSMC aren't relaxing about their market positions, and last week GloFo announced a $6 billion factory expansion in Singapore.
Earlier this month TSMC confirmed that it had started building a $12 billion factory in Arizona, and I've recently read that it is going to build other impressive manufacturing outposts in Japan and Germany – these locations handily cover the three great car making countries of the world.
Despite spending billions abroad, TSMC is still committed to maintaining its most advanced facilities in Taiwan. Adding to its already extensive portfolio of factories on its home turf, a very impressive new site for a TSMC 2nm factory has been revealed by Taiwan government regulators.
Set in the Hsinchu Science Park area (Taiwan's Silicon Valley), TSMC has secured a site of 90 hectares. This site thus covers an area which is roughly equivalent to 225 football pitches. The plans were revealed by the Ministry of Science and Technology which has been looking closely at matters such as the potential environmental impact of the facility, including potential air pollution, waste treatment, water usage, impact on a nearby river, earthquake mitigations, the felling of trees / plants and their replacement / replanting nearby – particularly to protect local butterfly species.
Keya Creek, Hsinchu
TSMC looks set to satisfy the requirements of the eco task force attached to the government ministry, but some further investigations are in process with a closer focus on waste treatment, environmental preservation, and plans for very big earthquakes which could cause ground liquefaction.
Wisely, TSMC has plans to rely wholly on reclaimed water by 2030 – as it nearly got into trouble during a drought earlier this year – and this is a move which will be good for the rest of the area and for the factory's self-reliance.
It is estimated that TSMC will have completed the construction of this new 2nm facility in Hsinchu in about 5 years time.