Apple’s chipmaker pours $3.5 billion into Arizona plant


TSMC chip wafer
TSMC is investing heavily in an Arizona plant that will make chips for Apple and other companies.
Photo: TSMC

TSMC is going large with its Arizona plant. The Taiwanese company that makes processors for almost every type of Apple device committed itself to putting $3.5 billion into its U.S. subsidiary. And that’s only part of the eventual cost.

Apple has already promised to use chips made at the plant.

TSMC Arizona will be a major operation

Apple designs the A-series and M-series processors that go into iPhone, iPad and Mac, but the chips are produced by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company. Currently, that happens in Taiwan.

But tax credits in President Joe Biden’s CHIPS and Science Act helped persuade the company to expand production to the United States.

On Tuesday, the TSMC board of directors “approved the capital injection of not more than US$3.5 billion to TSMC Arizona, a wholly-owned subsidiary of TSMC,” according to a statement. And that’s not the whole investment. The final cost over multiple years is expected to be around $40 billion.

The initial U.S. plant will begin production in 2024 making 4nm processors. The second plant will open in 2026 and make 3nm chips. All Apple processors are currently made with a 5nm process, but could switch to a 3nm process later in 2023.

Apple CEO Tim Cook attended an event at TSMC Arizona in December and said, “Today we’re combining TSMC’s expertise with the unrivaled ingenuity of American workers,” according to CNBC. “We are investing in a stronger brighter future, we are planting our seed in the Arizona desert. And at Apple, we are proud to help nurture its growth.”


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