On Sept. 19, Beijing time, chip giant TSMC did not make good progress in setting up a plant in the United States, delaying the start of production at its $40 billion Arizona chip plant. Now, TSMC has set its sights on Germany, not only agreeing to invest 11 billion US dollars to build a factory, but also willing to train chip talents for Germany.
It is reported that TSMC is working with the German state of Saxony to develop an exchange program to bring students from Dresden, the capital of Saxony, to Taiwan to train German chip talents. Starting in the spring of 2024, Dresden Polytechnic University will send about 50 exchange students to universities in Taiwan for three months, followed by an internship at TSMC for another three months to gain practical experience, Ursula Staudinger, president of Dresden Polytechnic University, said on Tuesday. According to Stettinger, National Taiwan University of China will be the first university in Taiwan to participate in the exchange program.
The German state of Saxony has a sense of urgency in training new talents. According to a study by the German Economic Research Institute (IW), in the German semiconductor industry, about 28 per cent of electrical engineering experts and 33 per cent of engineering supervisors will reach retirement age in the next 10 to 12 years. From June 2021 to June 2022, there was a staff shortfall of 62000 for the entire German semiconductor industry. A spokesman for the German Labor Ministry had previously said that as Germany's population ages and the labor force becomes smaller, Germany "still has a great demand for foreign skilled labor".
In August, TSMC announced that it would join hands with Infineon, NXP and Bosch to build a plant in the eastern German city of Dresden at a cost of 10 billion euros (76.9 billion yuan). Among them, TSMC holds 70 per cent, Infineon, NXP and Bosch each own 10 per cent. The plant will start production at the end of 2027 to provide chips for the automotive and industrial sectors.
In fact, TSMC's plan to set up factories overseas is not going well. It announced a high-profile investment of US $12 billion to build a plant in Arizona, and then expanded its investment to US $40 billion, attracting US President Joe Biden to visit the plant. However, TSMC's plans to build a plant in the United States have encountered "soil and water disobedience". TSMC delayed the start of production at its Arizona plant by a year to 2025 because of a shortage of skilled workers. But local workers in Arizona say the delay at TSMC is due to mismanagement, not a shortage of skilled workers, and that the company wants to use cheaper Taiwanese workers. Local trade unions in Arizona are opposed to the United States granting visas to Taiwanese workers.
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