TSMC chairman Mark Liu reportedly confirmed the company was considering creating its first semiconductor plant in Europe, as a wider push around increased global chip production gathers momentum.
Bloomberg reported Liu told shareholders at TSMC’s AGM it was in the preliminary stages of reviewing whether opening a wafer plant in Germany was feasible.
Any decision “will depend on our customers’ needs”, he said.
The plan to branch out into Europe follows moves by the company to expand its presence in the US, with its board in 2020 approving the creation of a subsidiary in the country with $3.5 billion in capital.
It will be based in Arizona, the same location where the company plans to build a $12 billion semiconductor factory, due to begin operations in 2024.
TSMC has previously concentrated the bulk of its production in Taiwan, but in addition to the US and Germany, Nikkei Asia reported it is also looking at building a facility in Japan.
Bloomberg noted Liu tackled this in his comments to shareholders, explaining Japan had different challenges, with the cost to build and operate a plant coming with a “much higher” cost than in doing so in Taiwan.
“We are directly discussing with our clients ways to narrow the cost gap there,” he said.
TSMC’s global push comes as a global chip shortage continues to impact the production of numerous electronics.
The company is major supplier for Apple and Qualcomm, and in April predicted the chip shortage would last until 2022.