Taiwan chip giant to spend $2.9bn on plant for AI

TSMC is the world’s leading maker of cutting edge semiconductor chips (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd)
Chip maker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) will invest $2.9bn in a packaging facility in northern Taiwan, Reuters reports. “Packaging” in this context means placing a number of chips in a single device.

A TSMC spokesperson made the announcement yesterday, saying the company was acquiring land for the plant at the Tongluo Science Park in Miaoli county.

The plant will package the high-performance semiconductors required for generative AI – that is, programs such as Chat GPT that can generate text and images in response to prompts.

TSMC chief executive CC Wei said last week that his company was unable to meet the growth in demand created by the boom in AI applications, and planned to double capacity for advanced packaging.

He said capacity was “very tight” after the company reported a 23% fall in second-quarter profits. “We are increasing our capacity as quickly as possible,” he said. “We expect this tightening will be released next year, probably towards the end of next year.”

TSMC is the world’s largest maker of AI chips, with customers such as NVIDIA and Advanced Micro Devices.

The Tongluo Science Park administration has officially approved TSMC’s application to lease land, the company said, adding the new plant in the northern county of Miaoli would create about 1500 jobs.

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