TSMC, Kyushu University to Agree on Comprehensive Partnership; Kyushu Chip Industry Said to Face Experts Shortfall

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. plant is seen in Kikuyo, Kumamoto Prefecture.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. and Kyushu University plan to sign a memorandum for comprehensive collaboration aimed at providing training and conducting joint research on semiconductors, according to sources close to the university.

Under the agreement, TSMC, the world’s largest contract chip manufacturer, is expected to hold seminars at the university. The two parties are also expected to cooperate on research for cutting-edge technology.

This will likely be TSMC’s first memorandum to cooperate with a Japanese university after the firm’s decision to build a plant in Kumamoto Prefecture.

The two parties are expected to agree on fully cooperating to revive Japan’s semiconductor industry.

It is assumed that TSMC researchers will teach Kyushu University students. The two parties aim to conduct joint studies and write papers together, and they are also considering an internship program, under which Kyushu University students would be dispatched to TSMC’s base in Taiwan.

Kyushu’s semiconductor industry is expected to face shortfalls of 1,000 technical experts per year over the next decade, according to one estimate.

TSMC’s Kumamoto plant will be fully operational by the end of this year. The firm also plans to open a second plant in the prefecture.

The company is thought to have concluded that collaboration with Kyushu University was indispensable to secure staff for its future operations.