Sony and TSMC may team up to tackle global chip shortages

Japan may soon have some new allies due to global chip shortages. According to Reuters, Nikkei sources say that Sony and TSMC "consider" creating a joint semiconductor factory in Japan's western Kumamoto Prefecture. According to insiders, TSMC would hold majority control but the plant would be located on Sony land close to that company's image sensor manufacturing facility. According to reports, the Japanese government would cover half of the $7Billion investment.
The plant would produce chips for cars, cameras and other purposes. According to Denso, the car parts giant is interested in the project. The factory could be operational by 2024 if the project is approved. Sony and TSMC declined to comment. However, TSMC had previously stated that it was "actively reviewing" plans in this area.

It wouldn't surprise that a joint plant would be possible. Analysts expect that the global chip shortage will last until 2023. This assumes that demand does not grow faster than expected. This would allow Sony, TSMC, and the wider Japanese tech industry to bounce back from the shortage. It also adds stability. It could also be used as a hedge Japan. Sony and TSMC would not have to worry about China-US tensions threatening Taiwan's production.

It's possible that the factory is ready just in time. High-connected, semi-autonomous vehicles should become more common by 2024. It's not surprising that cameras play an important role in smartphones even for budget prices. This could make it possible to keep these technologies on the right track by building a new plant.