TSMC pondering US location for $16B 3nm chip foundry for future iPhone, iPad models

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in iPhone
Apple chip supplier TSMC is examining all its options for a 3nm chip foundry location, but still on the table is a U.S. plant worth $16 billion, with an estimated completion of 2022.




While TSMC is prioritizing expansion in Taiwan, according to a new report by the Economic Daily News, a location in the U.S. is an "optional location to build out a new manufacturing plant, necessary for 3nm chip production. The company is reportedly seeking a 50-80 hectare lot to build the plant.

TMSC has been allocated a 50 hectare lot in the Kaohsiung Science Park in Taiwan. However, the environmental protection assessment may not be complete in time to build the multi-billion-dollar plant at the specified location, and start cranking out chips in time for a 2022 launch of the chips.

"We won't make a decision until next year," TSMC spokesperson Michael Kramer told Reuters in an interview. "We would sacrifice some benefits if we move to the States. But we have flexibility in Taiwan. If an earthquake happened for instance [in Taiwan], we could send thousands of people here as support, whereas it's harder in the States,"

The specific U.S. locations being examined for the facility are not known.

In January 2017, TSMC chariman Morris Chang said that the company could possibly build a plant in the U.S. However, Chang cautioned that TSMC building chips in America "may not necessarily be a good thing."

Apple chip manufacturer TSMC is reportedly on schedule to receive the first designs for chips using the 7nm FinFET process in the second quarter of 2017 for future iOS devices. Apple's A10 Fusion chip as found in the iPhone 7 family utilizes TSMC's 16nm FinFET process. The Fall 2017 line of iPhones are expected to utilize a 10nm process chip.

Two otherwise identical chips under the same load with different die sizes have less power consumed by the chip manufactured with the smaller die. As a result, in most cases the generated heat is less, giving better performance-per-watt metrics.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 26,254member
    Thanks, Trump!
    edredboltsfan17
  • Reply 2 of 11
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,616member
    This is the kind of thing that actually does make sense to build in the US. 

    That's particularly true for TSMC, which has all of its eggs in a particularly precarious basket, geopolitically speaking. 
    command_fedredapple jockeyration al
  • Reply 3 of 11
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,348member
    Thanks, Trump!
    Thanks, Steve Jobs and Tim Cook, for giving Asian manufacturers their best OEM supply market.
    coolfactorFatmanration al
  • Reply 4 of 11
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 1,061member
    3nm? Why not just go with 0nm and be done with it.  :D
    king editor the grateFatmanslprescott1983jdw
  • Reply 5 of 11
    FatmanFatman Posts: 97member
    This is what the US needs, we are too dependent on foreign fab plants, especially since we invented the damn microprocessor!  3nm is strategic and possibly the last feasible size, would be good to have on home turf regardless if a foreign company owns it.
  • Reply 6 of 11
    tmaytmay Posts: 1,726member
    Fatman said:
    This is what the US needs, we are too dependent on foreign fab plants, especially since we invented the damn microprocessor!  3nm is strategic and possibly the last feasible size, would be good to have on home turf regardless if a foreign company owns it.
    Uhm, Intel has a number of world class facilities in the U.S., and they will certainly be at the leading edge of fabs. Then there is Global Foundries, and Samsung, also in the U.S. Foreign owned, but certainly U.S. operations.

    The issue is that Intel, at the time, wasn't interested in providing low power CPU's for mobile. Intel had to be pushed to create low power CPU's for the Mac Book Air. Now, it's probably too late for an Intel SOC in the mobile market, unless Intel lower's it's margins, which they won't.
  • Reply 7 of 11
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 26,254member
    Fatman said:
    This is what the US needs, we are too dependent on foreign fab plants, especially since we invented the damn microprocessor!  3nm is strategic and possibly the last feasible size, would be good to have on home turf regardless if a foreign company owns it.
    I remember when they were saying 9nm was the last feasible size. 
  • Reply 8 of 11
    TSMC should check out the foundry here in Sherman, Texas. It have huge ass empty building that is for sale. It used to be MEMC. I watch on tv, "How It Made" on Science Channel it show that MEMC built chip with special metal and stuff like that, melt metal use for chip like Intel, AMD, ARM and other kind of chip. TSMC should check that building out, it's next door to Texas Instruments (TI have been running for many years way before I even was born in 1979). 
  • Reply 9 of 11
    rezwitsrezwits Posts: 531member
    3nm! Talk about nanotechnology!
  • Reply 10 of 11
    Let me preface this by saying that I like Mel Gross. His posts are nearly always quite thoughtful. 

    I just have to needle him a bit though. 3 nm isn't supposed to be possible. And here we have an article that TSMC is investing big time in building a plant in the US to build 3 nm CPUs. 

    3 nm is marketing speak. But it is interesting to see how the other fabs have essentially caught up to Intel. 
  • Reply 11 of 11
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 3,233member
    Let me preface this by saying that I like Mel Gross. His posts are nearly always quite thoughtful. 

    I just have to needle him a bit though. 3 nm isn't supposed to be possible. And here we have an article that TSMC is investing big time in building a plant in the US to build 3 nm CPUs. 

    3 nm is marketing speak. But it is interesting to see how the other fabs have essentially caught up to Intel. 
    Intel is essentially moving vertically now... so not absolutely sure that's true :-).

    Anyway, the chip you design will be at its at and less the fab very soon, within 10 years probably, which is probably bad long term for all of them until they
    hit a new tech allowing them to move out of being a bulk commodity.
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