Sony: The Reuters news agency reported on Monday (8) that the Sony group is evaluating the construction of a semiconductor chip factory in Japan. It would be built in partnership with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) and would aim to supply this component to other Sony factories in the country.
The Japanese conglomerate needs the semiconductor chips not only for its PlayStation 5 consoles (which keep disappearing from inventories around the world…), but also for its TVs, cameras, stereos and other products — in addition to being able to supply the chips to other customers. TSMC is one of the biggest suppliers of these parts to Apple, which has already reduced the production of MacBooks this year due to the lack of them.
In short: it’s not easy for anyone and it’s good to join forces. Even the government of Japan will join the partnership, with investments of up to 800 billion yen (7.1 billion dollars or about 39 billion reais).
The chips are coming, but they will take a while
The lack of semiconductor chips is causing a huge crisis in several industries around the world. Sony says it has enough parts to continue manufacturing the PS5 within the targets for this year, but Toshiba put in the famous “not quite”: it said that the crisis should only end in the second half of 2022 and that the manufacturers of consoles will only be able to normalize their production in the following year.
So when you get a PS5 in stock, run. And so is the Xbox, since Microsoft isn’t making it through the semiconductor crisis unscathed. As a matter of fact, the Xbox boss said that this isn’t even the only problem that is affecting the stocks of retail consoles… In other words, just run if you want a new console.
For TSMC there is even more at stake: China and Taiwan have had huge political bullshit for decades (which would yield a lot on our partner site Mega Curioso, by the way) and kissuco looks like it could boil between the two soon. In this scenario, having a factory outside the conflict zone, in Japan, would be an added security for the company.
For the Japanese government, the biggest concern is with the car factories, which are opening and closing all the time because of the semiconductor crisis — and causing big damage to the country. The problem is that Sony and TSMC’s factory is expected to open in 2024. By then, the crisis is likely to be over and Taiwan has been annexed by the People’s Republic of China. But at least everyone will be on the safe side with their factory in Japan.