COVID-19 and the resulting chaos have disrupted not only people’s lives but also businesses and production. Consumer technology companies are one sector of the industry hit hard with chip shortages. The Nintendo Switch, Apple Watch, and even the iPhone are experiencing manufacturing delays due to these shortages. But a new report suggests that Sony and TSMC may be trying to tackle the issue with a new chip factory.
Sony itself has been experiencing a hit, and its own PlayStation 5 is delayed and in high demand. According to Reuters, Sony, TSMC, and the Japanese government may build a chip factory in Kumamoto, Japan. The plant is expected to produce semiconductors for automobiles, camera image sensors, and other products.
Reuters suggests that operations may start in 2024, but neither company has publicly stated or commented on the matter. TSMC supplies Apple with most of its chips and has said previously that it was feeling out plans to set up a production facility in Japan.
TSMC has been concerned about the concentration of chipmaking capability in Taiwan, which produces the majority of the world’s most advanced chips. China does not rule out the use of force to bring the democratic island under its control.
Japanese officials are also worried about the supply chain stability of its industries, with a global chip shortage forcing automakers to cut production.
In the meantime, expect delays for a variety of consumer technology products as chip shortages continue. Apple Watch pre-orders are already being pushed into January, and the chip shortage is likely the culprit. Even if Sony and TSMC plan a chip factory, production won’t be for a few years, leaving the deficiency in full swing.