Apple's A-series chipmaker TSMC building $12 billion factory in the US

Apple’s A-series chipmaker is going to build a $12 billion factory in the US


Apple chipmaker racing ahead with its next next-gen nanometer process
New factory will be located in Arizona.
Screenshot: Apple

Apple A-series chipmaker TSMC announced Friday its intentions to build and run a new semiconductor fabrication plant in the U.S.

The new plant will be built in Arizona, with “support from the U.S. federal government and the State of Arizona,” a report published Friday by Digitimes claims. It will use TSMC’s 5-nanometer process to manufacture up to 20,000 semiconductor wafers per month. The iPhone 12 is widely expected to boast 5nm chips.

According to TSMC, the new facility will create more than 1,600 high tech jobs directly. It will also lead to “thousands of indirect jobs in the semiconductor ecosystem.”

Construction on the plant is scheduled to begin next year. However, production won’t start until 2024. If Apple keeps its current trajectory of using smaller and smaller nanometer processes for its A-series chips every couple of years, that means that a 5nm plant likely wouldn’t be making chips for Apple at the plant.

Plenty could change in a few years though — especially with President Trump proposing new tax laws that would incentivize American companies to manufacture their wares in America.

Spending big on its new chip plant

TSMC’s total spend on the project is expected to be around $12 billion. This will be invested between 2021 and 2029. TSMC already operates a manufacturing site in Camas, Washington, as well as having design centers in Austin, Texas and San Jose, California.

The Wall Street Journal was first to report last week that TSMC might be looking to open a new chip fab plant in America. The White House is reportedly keen to “jump-start” the development of new chip factories in America. This would help the U.S. to reduce reliance on Asia for critical technology. At the time, TSMC did not confirm or deny the report.

TSMC is not the first Apple manufacturer to build a facility in the U.S. Foxconn is building a plant in Wisconsin. However, the company’s stated plans for it have been scaled back significantly.


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