Five more TSMC chip plants planned in U.S. expansion

Posted:
in General Discussion edited May 4
Apple chip partner TSMC is considering expanding its existing plans to open up a chip foundry in Arizona, with the Taiwanese firm apparently planning to open up to a further five more locations in the state.




TSMC has been working to build a $12 billion chip factory in Arizona, one that was originally announced in May 2020 and that the company has been busy raising funds to construct. However, it may not be the only project TSMC is planning to build in the United States.

According to three sources of Reuters, TSMC is looking into potentially adding another five facilities in Arizona alongside the existing project in Phoenix.

One source claims the increase in facilities is a response by the U.S. government request, though didn't go into details. "Internally, TSMC is planning to build up to six fabs," said the source.

In April, TSMC took part in a White House virtual summit alongside other tech executives and chip producers, one that aimed to find ways to ease the global semiconductor shortage. The Biden administration aims to spend tens of billions of dollars to raise the level of domestic chip production, which TSMC may also be eligible to receive.

A second source hinted that the location of the other facilities could be very near to the current project, with TSMC said to have already ensured there was enough land available for expansion.

As for how long it could take for the fabs, the third source said TSMC had advised a supplier the plan was to construct the six facilities over the next three years.

On an April earnings call, TSMC CEO C.C. Wei commented on the facility under construction, which could start production of 5nm chips by 2024, with an output of 20,000 wafers per month.

In the call, it was mentioned that the firm has "acquired a large piece of land in Arizona to provide flexibility." Further expansion is possible, the CEO mentioned, but it would have to "ramp up to Phase 1 first, then based on the operation efficiency and cost economics and also the customers' demand, to decide what the next steps we are going to do."


Stay on top of all Apple news right from your HomePod. Say, "Hey, Siri, play AppleInsider," and you'll get latest AppleInsider Podcast. Or ask your HomePod mini for "AppleInsider Daily" instead and you'll hear a fast update direct from our news team. And, if you're interested in Apple-centric home automation, say "Hey, Siri, play HomeKit Insider," and you'll be listening to our newest specialized podcast in moments.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 14
    doggonedoggone Posts: 290member
    It would cost a lot of money but if it wanted to secure chip production in the near and mid term, Apple could buy TMSC. That chip manufacturer has proven themselves to be a good partner and has the skill set to implement Apple’s designs.  It would allow Apple to control a critical part of its products and restrict the competition from gaining insight of their technical advantage. 
    Oferwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 14
    JWSCJWSC Posts: 951member
    As an Arizonan, I say Woohoo!!!
    Wgkruegerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 14
    Welcome to the Silicon Desert. 
    doggonewatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 14
    robabarobaba Posts: 127member
    No way in Hell Apple would be allowed to purchase TSMC, even if they were willing to be bought out (which they are not).  Half a dozen nations would block the sale, and even if it were to bo through, Apple would be broken up shortly there-after.  

    Not.

    Gonna.

    Happen.
    muthuk_vanalingamOferjony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 14
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,586member
    doggone said:
    It would cost a lot of money but if it wanted to secure chip production in the near and mid term, Apple could buy TMSC. That chip manufacturer has proven themselves to be a good partner and has the skill set to implement Apple’s designs.  It would allow Apple to control a critical part of its products and restrict the competition from gaining insight of their technical advantage. 

    I don't think they need to do that or want to do that.  They already are switching chips, which is a big process. I don't know that they want to get into the actual production business.  
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 14
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,586member
    For those following the news, this is about much more than increasing the supply of critical chips.  There is a shortage right now to be sure.  But it's what that shortage means that's at issue.  One of the biggest problems is what it means militarily.  We have the most technologically advanced systems in the world, despite China's rise and Russia's saber rattling.  We need the chips and resources to build and run those systems, especially as we become less dependent on manpower and more on technology.  

    But secondly, and this is what few seem to be talking about, is China's response to the shortage, current military buildup, and future plans.  China is exceptionally patient.  They want to eventually re-take Taiwan.  Not only do they need to tech now to be able to do it any time in then next decade, but they are keenly interested in TSMC.  Imagine what would happen if China concludes that it's worth the risk of a full scale war to launch a surprise attack on Taiwan.  There have been recent war games where the U.S. either fails to respond or we get our butts handed to us because of Access Denial Weapons.  Imagine if China takes over Taiwan and TSMC.  They would control the second biggest chip manufacturer in the world.  Good luck fielding our F-35s, AEGIS Radar, and other high tech systems.  The security implications are terrifying.   

    The above is why I think the government is strongly pushing for more domestic production.  Politics aside, both parities know the threat this shortage poses when combined with an aggressive and emboldened Communist government.  
    jony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 14
    What types of jobs do these plants require?  Clearly they are projecting that they’ll be able to staff these plants.  Is that thousands of high-skill positions or just hundreds?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 14
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,304member
    robaba said:
    No way in Hell Apple would be allowed to purchase TSMC, even if they were willing to be bought out (which they are not).  Half a dozen nations would block the sale, and even if it were to bo through, Apple would be broken up shortly there-after.  

    Not.

    Gonna.

    Happen.
    If Apple can design its own SOC then why can’t it own a chip fab?
  • Reply 9 of 14
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,304member
    What types of jobs do these plants require?  Clearly they are projecting that they’ll be able to staff these plants.  Is that thousands of high-skill positions or just hundreds?
    It will be hundreds, not thousands of jobs. And those jobs will be filled by H1-B workers as Americans are simply unqualified to work in these high tech factories. 
    tokyojimujony0
  • Reply 10 of 14
    robabarobaba Posts: 127member
    lkrupp said:
    robaba said:
    No way in Hell Apple would be allowed to purchase TSMC, even if they were willing to be bought out (which they are not).  Half a dozen nations would block the sale, and even if it were to bo through, Apple would be broken up shortly there-after.  

    Not.

    Gonna.

    Happen.
    If Apple can design its own SOC then why can’t it own a chip fab?
    That’s a disingenuous statement if I ever saw one.

    TSMC isn’t just “a chip fab”, but a sprawling business which provides half the world semiconductors, and seems to be steamrolling the competition.  Apple owning TSMC would threaten the supply chain of every other electronics manufacturer in the world.  If people are calling Apple a monopoly now, what would they call that monster?
    muthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 14
    robabarobaba Posts: 127member

    lkrupp said:
    What types of jobs do these plants require?  Clearly they are projecting that they’ll be able to staff these plants.  Is that thousands of high-skill positions or just hundreds?
    It will be hundreds, not thousands of jobs. And those jobs will be filled by H1-B workers as Americans are simply unqualified to work in these high tech factories. 
    TSMC might cut a deal with ASU or UA to hire EE and CS graduates as technicians—it would be a great move politically.  And they are a politically astute organization.  A domestic workforce ties them emotionally as well as economically to the US population.  They don’t get that with H1-Bs.  They need an engaged US to stave off mainland aggression.
  • Reply 12 of 14
    jccjcc Posts: 297member
    TSMC should move ALL of their production out of Taiwan. It’s no longer safe.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 14
    robabarobaba Posts: 127member
    jcc said:
    TSMC should move ALL of their production out of Taiwan. It’s no longer safe.
    Not going to happen—semiconductors are Taiwan’s economic engine.
  • Reply 14 of 14
    Arizona has a number of computer wafer/chip silicon vapor deposition Fabs in addition to its Intel plants. 
    Most solar Fabs also use the same vapor deposition process as computer silicon. 

    ASML America had a Phoenix plant that was a customer of mine some years ago. They are the American sales arm of ASML of the Nederlands, the largest maker of the furnaces (or vapor deposition) equipment in the world and TSMC uses their equipment among others. 

    So, yes indeed, this is an ideal location for TSMA to find talent. My daughter, a materials and process engineer, worked in a solar Fab outside of Tucson, AZ—they were purchased by a Chinese company and shut down four years later.  But not until they built a similar solar plant in southwest China, which my daughter was employed to get up and running before the Tucson plant closure. 
    watto_cobra
Sign In or Register to comment.