TSMC to build more plants in Arizona

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TSMC has confirmed that it will build two more advanced chip manufacturing plants in Arizona, multiplying its initial investment of $40 billion.

When it opens in 2026, it plans to build a second fab in Phoenix, Arizona, that will produce 3nm chips. This is in addition to the previously announced fab, which will now produce 4nm silicon wafers instead of 5nm as previously planned.

Following The Financial Times’ report that TSMC would triple its investment in US plants, the company stated; “Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company will more than triple its investment in the US state of Arizona to $40bn, as geopolitical tensions put pressure on the world’s largest contract chipmaker to step up diversification of its production facilities.”

TSMC then facilitated a $12 billion investment to produce processors using the newer 5-nanometer manufacturing process that it now employs to produce iPhone processors and other chips. During a ceremony to commemorate the arrival of the first chipmaking equipment at the fab, the company announced these new developments.

TSMC broke ground on its 5nm fab in April 2021, but it will not begin manufacturing chips until 2024. The recently announced 3nm fab will not produce chips until 2026.

The advancement has raised questions about TSMC’s efficiency, as it is expected that Apple will have moved to 2nm processes by the time this plant opens. Furthermore, when the company’s Taiwan plants begin producing 3nm chips, the Arizona plants will be limited to 4nm. Arizona will move to 3nm when Taiwan moves to 2nm. If confirmed, this means that Apple’s latest A-series and M-series chips will never be manufactured in the United States, even in small quantities.

The sources for this piece include an article in TheRegister.

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