News & Events

Major IC equipment, materials vendors deepening presence in Taiwan

Many international semiconductor equipment and materials suppliers have been stepping up investments or strengthening deployments in Taiwan seeking to better serve TSMC's ecosystem clustering at Southern Taiwan Science Park (STSP), according to industry sources.

TSMC has turned STSP into the world's major hub for advanced semiconductor manufacturing nodes, and is estimated to pour over NT$2 trillion (US$71.03 billion) in constructing 3nm fabs in addition to 5nm plants already in volume production there, the sources said.

To sustain its leadership in advanced fabrication processes, TSMC has ramped up its capex year by year, with the figure estimated to grow to US$18-19 billion in 2021 after hitting a new high of US$17 billion in 2020. Its ever-larger equipment and materials procurement orders have attracted many international suppliers to expand investments in Taiwan to better serve TSMC, fast fueling clustering of Taiwan's semiconductor supply chain, the sources continued.

EUV equipment supplier ASML has set up its first overseas EUV technology training center in STSP at EUR13.5 million, which is actively fostering 360 EUV engineers for TSMC. The foundry giant has purchased over 30 EUV machines including 20 units at its STSP fabs and will buy 16-17 more units in 2021.

US-based Entegris has recently announced plans to invest US$200 million more in Taiwan in the next 3-5 years after setting up an R&D center in Hsinchu, northern Taiwan. It is set to build a plant in STSP starting in early 2021, which will become operational by the end of the year to produce micrcontamination filter systems, gas delivery system and advanced materials.

Germany's Merck Group has also disclosed plans to expand its fab in STSP into a new R&D hub for deposition materials.

Japan's Shin-Etsu Chemical has invested JPY30 billion (US$290.19 million) to expand its production capacities in Taiwan, with its new plant in southern Taiwan to start volume production of EUV photoresist in February 2021.

Japan's chemical firm Tokuyama and Taiwan's Formosa Plastics have set up a joint venture plant in Kaohsiung to produce high-purity isopropyl alcohol (IPA) for cleaning use at advanced manufacturing processes.

Other Japanese firms including Fujifilm Electronic Materials, Tokyo Electron and Valqua are also stepping up construction of new fabs in STSP.