Powerchip Semiconductor Manufacturing, the Taiwanese chipmaker, in collaboration with Japanese financial firm SBI Holdings, has announced their selection of Miyagi prefecture in northern Japan as the site for a planned foundry with an investment of $5.4 billion.
Though the project is yet to receive government subsidies, recent reports from Reuters indicate that discussions have been progressing. If approved, this project would mark the latest commitment by Taiwanese chip manufacturers to expand their manufacturing operations in Japan.
Scope of Production: Powerchip’s proposed foundry in Japan aims to produce micro-controllers and power chips essential for power management in electric vehicles, as well as chips for artificial intelligence applications.
Two-Phase Development: The development will occur in two phases. In the first phase, with an estimated investment of $2.8 billion, scheduled for 2027, the foundry will manufacture chips using 40-nanometre and 55-nanometre technology, with a target monthly output of 10,000 wafers.
The second phase, scheduled for two years later, plans to introduce 28-nanometre technology and increase the monthly output to 40,000 wafers.
Strategic Location: The facility will be situated in an industrial park in Miyagi prefecture, known for its abundant land, water, and power resources. It is conveniently located near the major regional city of Sendai, providing an ideal location for manufacturing operations.
Powerchip and SBI Holdings had initially revealed their intention to establish the fab in July. Subsequently, they received proposals from over 30 local governments, spanning from the northern island of Hokkaido to the major chipmaking center of Kyushu.
Rising Investment in Japan’s Chip Manufacturing: Japan is experiencing a surge in investment in the semiconductor manufacturing sector, driven by government initiatives that offer generous subsidies to companies in the field. This trend has attracted both domestic ventures like Rapidus and international players like Taiwan’s leading contract chip manufacturer, TSMC, further establishing Japan’s position in the global semiconductor industry.