To boost chip production in the United States, the world’s leading contract foundry TSMC announced last year that it would be spending $ 12 billion to build a manufacturing facility in Arizona. The factory is expected to start production in 2024, with 5 nm chips rolling off the assembly line. This process node, currently used on the latest 2021 chips like the A14 Bionic and Snapdragon 888 SoC, will be old news by 2024 and will be replaced with 3nm and possibly 2nm chips.
TSMC now hopes to build 6 “fabs” in the US over the next three years
Still, the idea that the US could at some point become a source of high-performance chips must keep executives at leading American technology companies happy and excited. And making them even more excited is a story Released today by Reuters, citing three sources as saying that TSMC plans to expand its manufacturing facilities in Arizona to up to five additional factories for a total of six. The first facility will produce 20,000 12-inch wafers per month, each of which will deliver thousands of chips.
In a TSMC factory where the lights are yellow to protect the safety of the wafers being made
A source said the US was behind the request to build the additional factories. He said, “The United States requested it. Internally, TSMC plans to build up to six factories.” TSMC has an older facility in Washington state and another in China that manufacture older components as the vast majority of its high-performance chips are made in Taiwan.
The first factory is in Phoenix, Arizona, and TSMC is reportedly spending $ 12 billion to build and operate it. Last month, TSMC also announced that it will spend $ 100 billion over the next three years to expand its current chip manufacturing facility. There is a shortage of chips around the world due to the pandemic, which is having a negative impact on the auto and tech industries as Ford is slated to cut production by 50% and Apple warned of shortages for the iPad in the second half of this year.
The Biden government is poised to spend tens of billions of dollars building the U.S. domestic chip industry, and one of three Reuters sources said TSMC made sure there was enough when choosing the location of their first new Arizona factory There is enough space to build additional fabs. According to another source, there are plans to build a total of six production facilities over the next three years. Last week, TSMC announced that it has hired the first 250 Americans to work at the first facility, 100 of whom have been sent to Taiwan for training.
TSMC was asked if the expansion to a total of six factories was due to a US request and stated that the decision to build additional factories would be based on other factors. These factors were discussed by the company’s CEO, CC Wei, during a conference call last month following TSMC’s latest quarterly report.
During the call, the executive said, “In fact, we bought a large chunk of land in Arizona to provide flexibility. So further expansion is possible, but we will ramp up to phase 1 first, then based on operational efficiency and cost-effectiveness and also customer demand to decide what the next steps we will take. “When asked if the proposed expansion to a total of six factories was due to an inquiry from the US, TSMC said it was” not certain “, which is to be understood by” inquiries “from the US side.
TSMC says, “As soon as an official decision is made, we will disclose it accordingly.”