Sony looks to avoid future chip shortage by building own factory

Rik Henderson


Sony is reportedly in talks with Taiwan's TSMC to build a jointly-owner chip manufacturing plant in Japan.

Sited in Kumamoto, southern Japan, it will make silicon for cars, cameras and many other products, including possible future PlayStation consoles and Sony TVs. The Japanese government is said to be willing to invest in the project too, which will cost an estimated 800 billion yen (£5.19 billion).

Don't get your hopes up that it'll help get more PlayStation 5s onto shelves, however. The plant won't be operable until 2024 at the earliest.

Nikkei (via Reuters) claims that TSMC - already the world's largest third-party chip manufacturer - was already considering plans to expand to Japan. It currently supplies chips to Apple, Mediatek and Nvidia, so teaming with Sony will be a major coup for the Japanese consumer tech giant.

Reuters reports that neither TSMC nor Sony have commented. But, the factory makes a lot of sense considering the current global chip shortage and uncertainty around China's plans for the control of Taiwan.

Chip shortages have been blamed for PlayStation 5 stock issues. However, the console has also been the fastest selling in Sony's history - so demand has been much higher than ever before.

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