TSMC delays Arizona plant, blames US labor shortage

Posted:
in General Discussion edited July 2023

Apple's processor manufacturer TSMC says that it can't find enough skilled workers to open its Arizona facility on time, and mass chip production will have to wait until 2025.




The Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) began work on a first factory in Arizona in 2021. Since then, the plant has seen safety concerns, complaints from TSMC about US taxation. and a claim that US staff don't work hard enough.

Most recently, the company announced that it was sending more Taiwanese workers to the US to manage the final stages of making the plant operational. Now according to Nikkei Asia, that move has proven insufficient.

"We are encountering certain challenges, as there is an insufficient amount of skilled workers with the specialized expertise required for equipment installation in a semiconductor-grade facility," said TSMC chair Mark Liu. "Consequently we expect the production schedule of N4 [4-nanometer] process technology to be pushed out to 2025," continued Liu.

The news comes alongside TSMC's latest earnings report, which shows that the firm's profits have fallen, though they are expected to recover when the iPhone 15 range launches. TSMC blames the results on a slow economic recover in China, and a downturn in the consumer electronics market.

"It's all about macroeconomics," C.C. Wei, TSMC CEO told Nikkei Asia. "In fact, higher inflation and interest rate [rises] impact demand in all market segments in every region in the world."

China's economic recovery is also slower than we expected," continued Wei. "While we have recently observed an increase in AI-related demand, it is not enough to offset the overall cyclicality of our business."

While TSMC has revised its estimate for when the Arizona plant will mass-produce 4-nanometer processors, the company is already making 3-nanometer ones that are expected to be in the iPhone 15 Pro and M3 Macs.

Read on AppleInsider

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 23
    They are FOS. I feel no pain for them. They chose Arizona, which in 5 years will be burned to a crisp and uninhabitable. 

    And their water demands will only further its demise.
  • Reply 2 of 23
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 3,208member
    They are FOS. I feel no pain for them. They chose Arizona, which in 5 years will be burned to a crisp and uninhabitable. 

    And their water demands will only further its demise.
    My understanding is that Arizona is actually very appealing due to geological stability and lack of hurricanes/tornadoes. 

    It is also my understanding that while a fab uses a lot of water, it's mostly recycled water. The analogy I've heard is that it's like a swimming pool -- it holds a lot of water, but then it just mostly recycles it. 

    And in terms of water use furthering the demise of Arizona -- I've read the biggest culprit is ALFALFA farmers. Yes, alfalfa. Somehow, people are growing one of the most water intensive crops there is in the middle of a desert. 

    Far better to turn those alfalfa fields into solar farms that power a Fab that's filled with water once, and then use the vast quantity of water saved from alfalfa farming to, you know, drink. 
    ddawson100davenchasmITGUYINSDwilliamlondonfreeassociate2watto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 3 of 23
    danoxdanox Posts: 2,671member
    blastdoor said:
    They are FOS. I feel no pain for them. They chose Arizona, which in 5 years will be burned to a crisp and uninhabitable. 

    And their water demands will only further its demise.
    My understanding is that Arizona is actually very appealing due to geological stability and lack of hurricanes/tornadoes. 

    It is also my understanding that while a fab uses a lot of water, it's mostly recycled water. The analogy I've heard is that it's like a swimming pool -- it holds a lot of water, but then it just mostly recycles it. 

    And in terms of water use furthering the demise of Arizona -- I've read the biggest culprit is ALFALFA farmers. Yes, alfalfa. Somehow, people are growing one of the most water intensive crops there is in the middle of a desert. 

    Far better to turn those alfalfa fields into solar farms that power a Fab that's filled with water once, and then use the vast quantity of water saved from alfalfa farming to, you know, drink. 

    TSMC could have built the facility somewhere near/close to the Columbia river basin in eastern Washington or Oregon, and certainly not in water less Arizona. Another good location would’ve been somewhere in British Columbia just north of the US Canadian border within 50 miles of the border and within 50 miles of the Pacific Ocean.

    Anywhere in the Pacific northwest near the Pacific ocean close to vast amounts of hydroelectric power (45% of the USA’s total Hydro electric output) and plenty of water. With the added bonus of having a better post secondary educational system and Microsoft and Boeing nearby.

    Being in Arizona, long-term is not good because of the lack of water means you’re gonna have to duplicate your efforts in building another facility within 5 to 10 years in an area with water.

    TSMC, did a bad job in scouting. Whatever they were going to build should’ve been within 50 miles of the pacific ocean between Vancouver and San Diego, the best schools, the largest population of Asians in the United States, and the best companies in Tech are all along the Pacific Coast from San Diego to Vancouver, Qualcomm in the south, and Microsoft and Boeing in the north, with Silicon Valley in the middle.
    edited July 2023 BiCCbaconstangkillroywatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 23
    waveparticlewaveparticle Posts: 1,497member
    Since July 1, Phoenix temperature has reached over 115 F every day. The forecast is this will continue nonstop. The early morning temperature is 90 F. How many skilled American workers will like to work in such environment? 
    baconstangITGUYINSDwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 23
    danox said:
    blastdoor said:
    They are FOS. I feel no pain for them. They chose Arizona, which in 5 years will be burned to a crisp and uninhabitable. 

    And their water demands will only further its demise.
    My understanding is that Arizona is actually very appealing due to geological stability and lack of hurricanes/tornadoes. 

    It is also my understanding that while a fab uses a lot of water, it's mostly recycled water. The analogy I've heard is that it's like a swimming pool -- it holds a lot of water, but then it just mostly recycles it. 

    And in terms of water use furthering the demise of Arizona -- I've read the biggest culprit is ALFALFA farmers. Yes, alfalfa. Somehow, people are growing one of the most water intensive crops there is in the middle of a desert. 

    Far better to turn those alfalfa fields into solar farms that power a Fab that's filled with water once, and then use the vast quantity of water saved from alfalfa farming to, you know, drink. 

    TSMC could have built the facility somewhere near/close to the Columbia river basin in eastern Washington or Oregon, and certainly not in water less Arizona. Another good location would’ve been somewhere in British Columbia just north of the US Canadian border within 50 miles of the border and within 50 miles of the Pacific Ocean.

    Anywhere in the Pacific northwest near the Pacific ocean close to vast amounts of hydroelectric power (45% of the USA’s total Hydro electric output) and plenty of water. With the added bonus of having a better post secondary educational system and Microsoft and Boeing nearby.

    Being in Arizona, long-term is not good because of the lack of water means you’re gonna have to duplicate your efforts in building another facility within 5 to 10 years in an area with water.

    TSMC, did a bad job in scouting. Whatever they were going to build should’ve been within 50 miles of the pacific ocean between Vancouver and San Diego, the best schools, the largest population of Asians in the United States, and the best companies in Tech are all along the Pacific Coast from San Diego to Vancouver, Qualcomm in the south, and Microsoft and Boeing in the north, with Silicon Valley in the middle.

    Apple can build anywhere they want.  TSMC will get licensed.  I'll keep this short, Apple contracts TSMC to make for Apple.  Do the Logic.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 23
    baconstangbaconstang Posts: 1,088member
    Having trouble finding people skilled in constructing state-of-the-art foundries?
    Too bad they don't teach that on Tik Tok.

    dewmewatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 23
    tmaytmay Posts: 6,238member
    danox said:
    blastdoor said:
    They are FOS. I feel no pain for them. They chose Arizona, which in 5 years will be burned to a crisp and uninhabitable. 

    And their water demands will only further its demise.
    My understanding is that Arizona is actually very appealing due to geological stability and lack of hurricanes/tornadoes. 

    It is also my understanding that while a fab uses a lot of water, it's mostly recycled water. The analogy I've heard is that it's like a swimming pool -- it holds a lot of water, but then it just mostly recycles it. 

    And in terms of water use furthering the demise of Arizona -- I've read the biggest culprit is ALFALFA farmers. Yes, alfalfa. Somehow, people are growing one of the most water intensive crops there is in the middle of a desert. 

    Far better to turn those alfalfa fields into solar farms that power a Fab that's filled with water once, and then use the vast quantity of water saved from alfalfa farming to, you know, drink. 

    TSMC could have built the facility somewhere near/close to the Columbia river basin in eastern Washington or Oregon, and certainly not in water less Arizona. Another good location would’ve been somewhere in British Columbia just north of the US Canadian border within 50 miles of the border and within 50 miles of the Pacific Ocean.

    Anywhere in the Pacific northwest near the Pacific ocean close to vast amounts of hydroelectric power (45% of the USA’s total Hydro electric output) and plenty of water. With the added bonus of having a better post secondary educational system and Microsoft and Boeing nearby.

    Being in Arizona, long-term is not good because of the lack of water means you’re gonna have to duplicate your efforts in building another facility within 5 to 10 years in an area with water.

    TSMC, did a bad job in scouting. Whatever they were going to build should’ve been within 50 miles of the pacific ocean between Vancouver and San Diego, the best schools, the largest population of Asians in the United States, and the best companies in Tech are all along the Pacific Coast from San Diego to Vancouver, Qualcomm in the south, and Microsoft and Boeing in the north, with Silicon Valley in the middle.
    There are already semiconductor companies in that area, including Intel in Chandler, hence why the fabs are being built there.

    As for water, agricultural use is still substantial, so reallocation gives a growth potential for municipal/industrial water use.


    killroywatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 23
    waveparticlewaveparticle Posts: 1,497member
    danox said:
    blastdoor said:
    They are FOS. I feel no pain for them. They chose Arizona, which in 5 years will be burned to a crisp and uninhabitable. 

    And their water demands will only further its demise.
    My understanding is that Arizona is actually very appealing due to geological stability and lack of hurricanes/tornadoes. 

    It is also my understanding that while a fab uses a lot of water, it's mostly recycled water. The analogy I've heard is that it's like a swimming pool -- it holds a lot of water, but then it just mostly recycles it. 

    And in terms of water use furthering the demise of Arizona -- I've read the biggest culprit is ALFALFA farmers. Yes, alfalfa. Somehow, people are growing one of the most water intensive crops there is in the middle of a desert. 

    Far better to turn those alfalfa fields into solar farms that power a Fab that's filled with water once, and then use the vast quantity of water saved from alfalfa farming to, you know, drink. 

    TSMC could have built the facility somewhere near/close to the Columbia river basin in eastern Washington or Oregon, and certainly not in water less Arizona. Another good location would’ve been somewhere in British Columbia just north of the US Canadian border within 50 miles of the border and within 50 miles of the Pacific Ocean.

    Anywhere in the Pacific northwest near the Pacific ocean close to vast amounts of hydroelectric power (45% of the USA’s total Hydro electric output) and plenty of water. With the added bonus of having a better post secondary educational system and Microsoft and Boeing nearby.

    Being in Arizona, long-term is not good because of the lack of water means you’re gonna have to duplicate your efforts in building another facility within 5 to 10 years in an area with water.

    TSMC, did a bad job in scouting. Whatever they were going to build should’ve been within 50 miles of the pacific ocean between Vancouver and San Diego, the best schools, the largest population of Asians in the United States, and the best companies in Tech are all along the Pacific Coast from San Diego to Vancouver, Qualcomm in the south, and Microsoft and Boeing in the north, with Silicon Valley in the middle.
    Water is not the main concern of building semiconductor plant. Please do some research. 
    killroyfreeassociate2
  • Reply 9 of 23
    Skilled labor in Arizona IS an issue. Arizona was only recently a deep red state and their focus on education was lacking. Add to that the fact that it will only get hotter, it will only get more costly to live there, and TSMC would be better off finding a better place. But there is no reason to believe they can't find skilled labor. I have a lot of family in AZ. Finding skilled labor is an issue with almost any task. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 23
    chasmchasm Posts: 3,213member
    I can’t claim to be sure I’m right, so take it for what it’s worth, but TSMC has been complaining about (and lobbying against) the “double taxation rule” that would have completely eaten any profits that plant would have generated, and they’ve been playing this “American workers no good to us” card for a while now, so I’m guessing they are giving themselves extra time to get that taxation issue resolved. Besides, what they need at the moment is workers to build the plant and install the equipment — that’s not a highly specialized skill.

    Once they get the taxation issue resolved to their satisfaction, I’ll bet TSMC “discovers” a big pool of workers from the US they can bring in from other states that are trained/can be trained to run the fab lines they need “miraculously.”
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 23
    rob53rob53 Posts: 3,231member
    danox said:
    blastdoor said:
    They are FOS. I feel no pain for them. They chose Arizona, which in 5 years will be burned to a crisp and uninhabitable. 

    And their water demands will only further its demise.
    My understanding is that Arizona is actually very appealing due to geological stability and lack of hurricanes/tornadoes. 

    It is also my understanding that while a fab uses a lot of water, it's mostly recycled water. The analogy I've heard is that it's like a swimming pool -- it holds a lot of water, but then it just mostly recycles it. 

    And in terms of water use furthering the demise of Arizona -- I've read the biggest culprit is ALFALFA farmers. Yes, alfalfa. Somehow, people are growing one of the most water intensive crops there is in the middle of a desert. 

    Far better to turn those alfalfa fields into solar farms that power a Fab that's filled with water once, and then use the vast quantity of water saved from alfalfa farming to, you know, drink. 

    TSMC could have built the facility somewhere near/close to the Columbia river basin in eastern Washington or Oregon, and certainly not in water less Arizona. Another good location would’ve been somewhere in British Columbia just north of the US Canadian border within 50 miles of the border and within 50 miles of the Pacific Ocean.

    Anywhere in the Pacific northwest near the Pacific ocean close to vast amounts of hydroelectric power (45% of the USA’s total Hydro electric output) and plenty of water. With the added bonus of having a better post secondary educational system and Microsoft and Boeing nearby.

    Being in Arizona, long-term is not good because of the lack of water means you’re gonna have to duplicate your efforts in building another facility within 5 to 10 years in an area with water.

    TSMC, did a bad job in scouting. Whatever they were going to build should’ve been within 50 miles of the pacific ocean between Vancouver and San Diego, the best schools, the largest population of Asians in the United States, and the best companies in Tech are all along the Pacific Coast from San Diego to Vancouver, Qualcomm in the south, and Microsoft and Boeing in the north, with Silicon Valley in the middle.
    TSMC could also build near Hanford and not worry about any additional contamination. This article is about labor shortage and central and eastern WA is not heavily populated, gets very hot and dry during the summer (majority of rain falls on the Olympia Peninsula, then the western side of the Cascades leaving only a bit of water for eastern WA. The Columbia is fed from Canada and the Cascades. It's true WA uses a ton of hydroelectric power but it's subject to erratic amounts of rain just like the rest of the country. WA actually had a long, mild winter along with a long damp spring. I don't remember any of rivers flooding this year but previous years it's been much heavier. The current population in central and eastern WA is primarily made up of farmers and college students along with what's left of the scientist in Hanford.
    baconstangwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 23
    dewmedewme Posts: 5,259member
    The US desperately needs something akin to the German Vocational Training System. Like yesterday.

    I'm struggling not to get into the despicable politics that has infected the US educational landscape. I will try not to go there.

    I will simply ask: When was the last time you saw or heard of anyone within the educational system power hierarchy, from administrators, to school boards, boards of education, to local and county officials, to state governors, to congress, on up ... proposing, much less implementing, statewide or nationwide constructive strategies that work with industry and businesses to identify and prepare primary, secondary, and trade school students to do the highly skilled jobs that will enable future growth and prosperity of the country and families in a similar way to what the German system has done? 

    This should be a daily discussion with imperatives for coming up with answers as soon as possible.

    Sure, there's a whole lot of discussion taking place about what children should be exposed to within their educational curriculum, but none of it has anything to do with preparing students for their future as productive citizens, whether it's furthering academic pursuits, obtaining professional credentials, or attaining the complex skills capabilities and knowledge that is needed for modern manufacturing jobs like the ones TSMC cannot fill today. Do we think it's going to get any easier? Even with automation you'll still need people who not only design and build the automation, but system integrators, fabricators, installers, maintainers, and operators to manage the automated systems for a multitude of applications. Robots don't design themselves, not yet anyway.

    It's not a matter of stupidity, outside of the politics, which is clearly a stupidity-driven process. It's simply a lack of preparedness. We've set ourselves up for failure and have nobody to blame but ourselves for not being prepared. We really should not be offended when outsiders see what should be rather obvious to ourselves.
    baconstangmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 13 of 23
    Since July 1, Phoenix temperature has reached over 115 F every day. The forecast is this will continue nonstop. The early morning temperature is 90 F. How many skilled American workers will like to work in such environment? 
    I used to work in the semiconductor business, and I think that all Fabs are indoors and air conditioned.
    command_fwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 23
    Semi fabs need not only large amounts of water and electricity, but also absence of earth tremors.  Therefore, fabs should be far away from hydrocarbon fracking locations.  Some fracking areas have hundreds of small earthquakes in a matter of days, which can ruin chips in process at the time of the quakes.  

    Unless operated in air conditioned spaces, most laptops, desktops and cell phones would be out of the recommended operating temperature ranges if exposed to 110-120 ℉.  For some, that temperature range may be out of the storage range (powered off).  

    With all of the high temperatures lately, suspect air conditioning manufactures will be replacing a LOT of compressors under warranty.  Semi fabs have to maintain narrow temperature ranges.  Suspect some of the AC units were not designed to maintain proper indoor temperatures when outdoor temperatures exceed 110-120 ℉.  Worked within a jet aircraft engine parts manufacturing facility for 16+ years.  After power failures, the AC had to run for a LONG time to condition machinery to the proper temperature to meet exact manufacturing tolerances.  As I recall, it could take 12 hours to condition the equipment.  Expect computer chip manufacturing would require even more exact controls on temperature.  

    On the plus side, looks like demand for pc chips is on the decline for now.  Also, probably lots of units available used from all the high tech. layoffs (more than 10,000 at Microsoft alone, plus lots at Dell, Meta...)  
    https://techcrunch.com/2023/07/20/tech-industry-layoffs-2023/  

    China is imposing export restrictions on some materials needed for more advanced chip manufacturing (notably gallium and germanium), in retaliation for our export restrictions on advanced chips to China.  
    baconstangdewmecommand_fwatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 23
    emig647emig647 Posts: 2,454member
    danox said:
    blastdoor said:
    They are FOS. I feel no pain for them. They chose Arizona, which in 5 years will be burned to a crisp and uninhabitable. 

    And their water demands will only further its demise.
    My understanding is that Arizona is actually very appealing due to geological stability and lack of hurricanes/tornadoes. 

    It is also my understanding that while a fab uses a lot of water, it's mostly recycled water. The analogy I've heard is that it's like a swimming pool -- it holds a lot of water, but then it just mostly recycles it. 

    And in terms of water use furthering the demise of Arizona -- I've read the biggest culprit is ALFALFA farmers. Yes, alfalfa. Somehow, people are growing one of the most water intensive crops there is in the middle of a desert. 

    Far better to turn those alfalfa fields into solar farms that power a Fab that's filled with water once, and then use the vast quantity of water saved from alfalfa farming to, you know, drink. 

    TSMC could have built the facility somewhere near/close to the Columbia river basin in eastern Washington or Oregon, and certainly not in water less Arizona. Another good location would’ve been somewhere in British Columbia just north of the US Canadian border within 50 miles of the border and within 50 miles of the Pacific Ocean.

    Anywhere in the Pacific northwest near the Pacific ocean close to vast amounts of hydroelectric power (45% of the USA’s total Hydro electric output) and plenty of water. With the added bonus of having a better post secondary educational system and Microsoft and Boeing nearby.

    Being in Arizona, long-term is not good because of the lack of water means you’re gonna have to duplicate your efforts in building another facility within 5 to 10 years in an area with water.

    TSMC, did a bad job in scouting. Whatever they were going to build should’ve been within 50 miles of the pacific ocean between Vancouver and San Diego, the best schools, the largest population of Asians in the United States, and the best companies in Tech are all along the Pacific Coast from San Diego to Vancouver, Qualcomm in the south, and Microsoft and Boeing in the north, with Silicon Valley in the middle.
    For what it’s worth, TSMC already has a fab on the Columbia River… Wafertech is owned by TSMC. They are quite familiar with the area. 

    From what I understand one of the big reasons they selected the area they did was easy access to silica. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 23
    command_fcommand_f Posts: 418member
    As a European observer, I thought that one of the motives for bringing this plant to the US was create/grow the skills locally. As such, "insufficient amount of skilled workers with the specialized expertise required for equipment installation in a semiconductor-grade facility" shouldn't be a surprise. Given time, TSMC will train US workers and achieve that objective. This is all strategic stuff given the threats from Taiwan's bigger neighbour and the world's reliance on TSMC's Taiwan-based capability.

    As to Arizona, I thought server-farms went there for the plentiful electricity (solar power). Won't a fab benefit too?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 23
    waveparticlewaveparticle Posts: 1,497member
    Semi fabs need not only large amounts of water and electricity, but also absence of earth tremors.  Therefore, fabs should be far away from hydrocarbon fracking locations.  Some fracking areas have hundreds of small earthquakes in a matter of days, which can ruin chips in process at the time of the quakes.  

    Unless operated in air conditioned spaces, most laptops, desktops and cell phones would be out of the recommended operating temperature ranges if exposed to 110-120 ℉.  For some, that temperature range may be out of the storage range (powered off).  

    With all of the high temperatures lately, suspect air conditioning manufactures will be replacing a LOT of compressors under warranty.  Semi fabs have to maintain narrow temperature ranges.  Suspect some of the AC units were not designed to maintain proper indoor temperatures when outdoor temperatures exceed 110-120 ℉.  Worked within a jet aircraft engine parts manufacturing facility for 16+ years.  After power failures, the AC had to run for a LONG time to condition machinery to the proper temperature to meet exact manufacturing tolerances.  As I recall, it could take 12 hours to condition the equipment.  Expect computer chip manufacturing would require even more exact controls on temperature.  

    On the plus side, looks like demand for pc chips is on the decline for now.  Also, probably lots of units available used from all the high tech. layoffs (more than 10,000 at Microsoft alone, plus lots at Dell, Meta...)  
    https://techcrunch.com/2023/07/20/tech-industry-layoffs-2023/  

    China is imposing export restrictions on some materials needed for more advanced chip manufacturing (notably gallium and germanium), in retaliation for our export restrictions on advanced chips to China.  
    This is false information. TSMC is from Taiwan which is prone to earthquake. 
  • Reply 18 of 23
    Since July 1, Phoenix temperature has reached over 115 F every day. The forecast is this will continue nonstop. The early morning temperature is 90 F. How many skilled American workers will like to work in such environment? 
    Phoenix resident here. Roofers work on roofs here all summer long regardless of temps. Of course, they start at 5am and are done by 2pm. Still...
  • Reply 19 of 23
    danox said:
    blastdoor said:
    They are FOS. I feel no pain for them. They chose Arizona, which in 5 years will be burned to a crisp and uninhabitable. 

    And their water demands will only further its demise.
    My understanding is that Arizona is actually very appealing due to geological stability and lack of hurricanes/tornadoes. 

    It is also my understanding that while a fab uses a lot of water, it's mostly recycled water. The analogy I've heard is that it's like a swimming pool -- it holds a lot of water, but then it just mostly recycles it. 

    And in terms of water use furthering the demise of Arizona -- I've read the biggest culprit is ALFALFA farmers. Yes, alfalfa. Somehow, people are growing one of the most water intensive crops there is in the middle of a desert. 

    Far better to turn those alfalfa fields into solar farms that power a Fab that's filled with water once, and then use the vast quantity of water saved from alfalfa farming to, you know, drink. 

    TSMC could have built the facility somewhere near/close to the Columbia river basin in eastern Washington or Oregon, and certainly not in water less Arizona. Another good location would’ve been somewhere in British Columbia just north of the US Canadian border within 50 miles of the border and within 50 miles of the Pacific Ocean.

    Anywhere in the Pacific northwest near the Pacific ocean close to vast amounts of hydroelectric power (45% of the USA’s total Hydro electric output) and plenty of water. With the added bonus of having a better post secondary educational system and Microsoft and Boeing nearby.

    Being in Arizona, long-term is not good because of the lack of water means you’re gonna have to duplicate your efforts in building another facility within 5 to 10 years in an area with water.

    TSMC, did a bad job in scouting. Whatever they were going to build should’ve been within 50 miles of the pacific ocean between Vancouver and San Diego, the best schools, the largest population of Asians in the United States, and the best companies in Tech are all along the Pacific Coast from San Diego to Vancouver, Qualcomm in the south, and Microsoft and Boeing in the north, with Silicon Valley in the middle.
    TSMC has had some pretty smart people working on this for years and their well-paid jobs and even careers depend on getting this right but yes, you know better than all of them, rando AI commenter.

    Couldn't possibly have to do with Arizona's business-friendly environment, low taxes, that Intel has already been fabbing chips in Chandler for many years now so there's a workforce in the sector available to them, proximity to California, a very strong cooperative effort at all levels of government to entice TSMC to AZ, availability of affordable land within the metro area, proximity to both Sky Harbor Int'l Airport which is a major airline hub and as well the smaller Deer Valley airport (for exec jets)...

    If Arizona was going to run out of water in five to ten years, the RE market would have cratered already. It's not doing so, in fact people are still falling all over themselves to buy homes in the Valley even with 7+% mortgage rates.

    Where's the laugh react? Your comment deserves several of them.
    edited July 2023 tmay
  • Reply 20 of 23
    eskimoueskimou Posts: 1member
    Some portions have been covered by a few people here but from a facilities standpoint the most important requirements for semiconductor fabrication are, having 20+ years in the field:
    • Access to large amounts of reliable electricity production
    • Access to large amounts of clean water, most of it will need be to be pre-treated and de-ioninized before use.  yes every fab tries to recycle 70+% of the water they use, not only to be a good environmental neighbor but also the cost of obtaining the amount needed.
    • Seismic stability, when trying to place feature with near atomic level accuracy even a passing train can impact production
    • Temperature and Humidity Control - Many critical processes and chemicals used require an operating range of 19-23 degrees C for stability of chemical and control within +/-0.02 degrees to avoid unwanted features like expansion/contraction of tool components (talking about you reticles and litho lenses).  Humidity must be controlled for similar reasons
    • Airborne contamination control, to prevent defects from impacting device operation, less of a concern in last 10 years as we've moved to more microenviroment FOUP/FOSB use.
    From a geopolitical standpoint there are other issues to consider:
    • Access to talented and trained workforce (main point of this article I believe TSMC was referencing)
    • Favorable tax/investment environment (how $10+ Billion in capital equiment needed for modern fab is treated is important)
    • Access to transport for raw material needed (silicon wafers, bulk chemicals, etc), can by by sea, land or air
    • Distance to critical suppliers/vendors for items mentioned above (usually most ancillary suppliers will build their own facilities close to new fabs, but if existing infrastructure already exists, very handy)
    • Access to R&D centers for transfer of new/revised processes.
    This is not exhaustive, but covers many of the main considerations.  For these reasons it is why historically most new fabs are built near existing ones for a company if land is available and many competing fabs can be found clustered nearby to each other in the US (e.g. AZ, TX, NY, VA, OR, formerly CA) and only occasionally in completely new greenfield locations (Intel in OH).
    muthuk_vanalingambaconstangGrundh2o
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