There’s been a lot of talk about Project Azalea, Apple’s rumored $10 billion project with TSMC to build a top-secret chip plant on domestic shores. We’ve heard it might be built in New York. We’ve heard it might be built in Portland. Wherever it’s built, though, it’s believed to be a major blow against Apple’s frenemy Samsung, who currently builds the majority of Apple’s custom ARM chips.
Unfortunately, it turns out that Project Azalea might not have anything to do with Apple after all, with TSMC’s CEO himself now denying it.
Although Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company CEO Morris Chang has told The Taipei Times that Project Azalea is real, he’s denied Apple is involved:
The US is one of the places under consideration. But this has nothing to do with Apple.
Rather, Chang claims that the new fab will help TSMC meet orders from existing clients like Qualcomm and Nvidia. Right now, working full blast, TSMC can only make 68,000 chips a month. That’s less than one-two-hundredth of the numberof processors Apple would need TSMC to make.
That all said, just because Apple isn’t specifically involved in building the fab doesn’t mean this move isn’t being made to accomodate Cupertino. TSMC may indeed plan on making A-series chips there eventually… they just can’t confirm it yet.