TSMC's new fab in Japan built in 2 years: 24-hour work days, site is called 'Nightless Castle'

TSMC's new plant in Japan took just 2 years to build, involved the help of Sony and 24-hour workdays that have the site called 'Nightless Castle'.

2 minutes & 16 seconds read time

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) first announced a new chip fabrication facility in Japan back in 2022, where it planned to have production up and running in 2024... and now it's operational.

TSMC plant in Japan (source: ChatGPT + DALL-E)

TSMC plant in Japan (source: ChatGPT + DALL-E)

The two years flew past, and now the facility is ready to begin mass production later this year, with TSMC tapping Sony's assistance to get the plant operational in Japan. The new Kumamoto fab plant has been dubbed "Nightless Castle" as there were workers there on 24-hour shifts, which is how the new TSMC plant was built in just two years, with plants regularly taking three or more years to get up and running.

Sony is an investor and a customer for TSMC's new plant in Japan; with the new fab plant getting up and running so quickly in Japan, that wouldn't necessarily be done in other countries. Why? TSMC had efficient government support, strict construction timetables, and a low-cost workforce that was flooding the site and then working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Kumamoto Governor Ikuo Kabashima said in an interview: "We committed to getting it ready in two years because that's what TSMC asked us. Being on time is important to win trust".

Kazuhisa Matsuda, senior managing director at NowPlus, said: "We gathered workers from across the nation, from Hokkaido to Okinawa. A job that normally earns ¥30,000 was paid ¥50,000 at the TSMC site".

Repeating this time schedule in the United States just couldn't happen, as labor unions in Japan are far more flexible, allowing construction to run 24 hours a day. Kikuyo residents started referring to TSMC's new plant as the "Nightless Castle," an apt name.

Sony staff worked with TSMC to replenish water supplies and tone down the environmental impact the new plant in Japan would have. Kumamoto featured plenty of underground water supplies, which is why TSMC chose this location.

TSMC plant in Japan (source: ChatGPT + DALL-E)

TSMC plant in Japan (source: ChatGPT + DALL-E)

A Sony spokeswoman said: "We helped TSMC in setting up the Kumamoto factory, by providing a wide range of support such as securing the supply of water, electricity and engineers as well as obtaining permits and licenses".

It's exciting to see TSMC's new fabrication plant in Japan coming together, and even more exciting to see what TSMC, Sony, and Japan can do in the coming years fighting against major international competitors like Intel, which has just concreted its new Intel 18A process node, and teased its next-gen Intel 14A process node which will both be made in the United States.

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Anthony joined the TweakTown team in 2010 and has since reviewed 100s of graphics cards. Anthony is a long time PC enthusiast with a passion of hate for games built around consoles. FPS gaming since the pre-Quake days, where you were insulted if you used a mouse to aim, he has been addicted to gaming and hardware ever since. Working in IT retail for 10 years gave him great experience with custom-built PCs. His addiction to GPU tech is unwavering and has recently taken a keen interest in artificial intelligence (AI) hardware.

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