Intel ChipSource: 60 Minutes

What you need to know

  • The Japanese newspaper Nikkan Kogyo has published a report regarding a proposed chip plant.
  • The proposed plant would be a product of TSMC and Sony.
  • The joint venture is reportedly being requested by the Japanese government.

As shared by Reuters, the Nikkan Kogyo newspaper has reported that the Japanese government wants Sony and TSMC to team up to invest one trillion yen into developing a 20-nanometer chip plant. According to the report, it'd be the country's first 20 nm plant and would be built close to another Sony plant in southwest Japan.

Other details are scarce, but even so, Nikkan Kogyo's piece has elicited responses from two of the parties named in it. Though Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida didn't comment on the report directly, he did say that "stable chip supplies are important for Japan to maintain its international competitiveness." Reuters also notes that "a ministry spokesman said the report was not true but declined to elaborate." TSMC did not comment.

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It wouldn't be too surprising that Japan wants to up its chipmaking game, as nations worldwide are currently in a rush to out-manufacture each other in the aforementioned sector. South Korea, China, the United States, and more are aggressively pushing to avoid being dependent with regards to their chipmaking needs. Taiwan being something of a global nucleus of chip activity has western nations scrambling while China is trying to ween itself off of American companies, leading to a spike in domestic-facing efforts across the globe.

Though not confirmed by the parties named in it, this report on Japan's activities does seem logical, given the direction Japan's neighbors are headed in.