iPhone chip supplier eyes first Japan plant

Tsmc (Image credit: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd.)

What you need to know

  • Apple's iPhone chip supplier is looking to build a new facility in Japan.
  • TSMC says it is conducting due diligence and in talks for a new factory.
  • The company says it has also not ruled out further U.S. expansion.

TSMC, which supplies the A-series chip for devices like the iPhone 12 and upcoming iPhone 13, says it is in talks to build a new factory in Japan for the first time.

C.C. Wei, TSMC's CEO told investors on a call Thursday that the company was conducting its "due diligence" regarding a possible plant in the country. From Nikkei Asia:

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. on Thursday confirmed that it is eyeing its first chip production site in Japan and that it will continue to build up its overseas manufacturing footprint to maintain its long-term competitiveness.C.C. Wei, CEO of TSMC, said the world's top chipmaker is conducting "due diligence" to determine the feasibility of a chip facility in Japan. Nikkei Asia earlier reported that TSMC is considering building a factory in the western prefecture of Kumamoto to address growing demand from Sony and other major customers.

Company Chairman Mark Liu said it was "still early to disclose the decision" but that the company was in the "due diligence phase" for a "specialty technology lab."

The report notes that Liu also said the company had not ruled out further expansion into the U.S.:

"As the need for semiconductor infrastructure security has increased in recent years, we are expanding our global manufacturing footprint to sustain and enhance our competitive advantages, and to better serve our customers in the new geopolitical environment," Liu told an investors' call on Thursday.

TSMC is building a $12 billion plant in Arizona and could build a further five factories in the country.

A supply chain report from March says that TSMC was to begin work on the A15 chip for iPhone 13 by the end of May.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9