TSMC abandons plans for 2nm chip plant after Taiwanese locals protest
Foundry giant now searching for new home for high-end fab site
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) will abandon plans to build an advanced chip fab in northern Taiwan after residents opposed the project.
In a statement obtained by Taiwanese newspaper Liberty News, TSMC said that "after the company's evaluation, under the current conditions, it will no longer consider entering the Phase III of Longtan Park."
TSMC had reportedly planned to construct a foundry capable of producing chips on 2nm and smaller process nodes as part of a 1.58 square kilometer expansion of the industrial park.
TSMC's decision to abandon the project came after residents in the city of Taoyuan took issue with the acquisition of land necessary to expand the park, according to Nikkei Asia.
Semiconductor manufacturing is an enormously resource intensive process and fabs can consume millions of gallons of water a day. The Longtan site is located in Taiwan’s densely-populated north, not far from green space and a high school.
While TSMC won't build at the Longtan site, the foundry operator has no intention of slowing down, and is said to be working with local government authorities to identify another location for the fab. The chip behemoth has land available in three other Taiwanese locations.
The Register asked TSMC for comment on the decision; we'll let you know if we hear back.
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TSMC has become the world’s most sophisticated semiconductor manufacturer and is relied upon for designers of silicon for advanced applications, who need the advanced process and packaging facilities the company operates in Taiwan.
TSMC last month revealed that AI chips built in its fabs were likely to remain in short supply for the next year and a half due to a shortage of advanced packaging capacity.
The packaging is required to stitch together the compute and memory used in chips like Nvidia's H100 accelerator. TSMC is currently working to address this shortage with a new facility in Tongluo Science Park in Taiwan's Miaoli County.
Despite the demand for AI accelerators, TSMC's outlook remains fuzzy enough that the company has reportedly stalled delivery of chipmaking equipment.
The foundry operator is scheduled to reveal its earnings for the third quarter on Thursday. ®