Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) will launch operations at its new chipmaking plant in the Kumamoto prefecture on 24 February, the company’s chairman Mark Liu said today (18 January).

News about the factory’s opening date came during a call with the investors. TSMC dominates the global semiconductor foundry market, with a share of 56.4% in all the chips traded around the world. Its clients include Apple and NVIDIA.

“We are building a special technology fab in Kumamoto that will utilise 12- and 16-nanometer and 22/28-process technologies,” Liu explained. “We will hold an opening ceremony on 24 February next month, and volume production is on track for the fourth quarter of 2024.”

Last year in November, TSMC announced plans to open a new factory in the Kumamoto prefecture in Southern Japan, sources cited by Bloomberg said. Around the same time, the Japanese government pledged an additional $13.3bn to bolster its domestic semiconductor manufacturing, $5bn of which will go into chip production (including TSMC’s factory in Kumamoto).

News about the opening date comes on the back of lower revenues for TSMC between October and December. On 18 January, the Taiwanese semiconductor reported its Q4 revenue was TWD625.53bn ($19.62bn), or 1.5% lower year-on-year. Overall, net income for the final quarter of 2023 was $7.67bn, or 19.3% lower than in Q4 2022 ($9.38bn).

Despite this, company officials remain optimistic about the upcoming year. TSMC’s Vice President and chief financial officer Wendell Huang said: “Moving into the first quarter of 2024, we expect our business to be impacted by smartphone seasonality, partially offset by continued HPC-related [high-performance computing] demand.”

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The Jumamoto factory is expected to cost $13bn.