Earlier this week, we heard news that Intel and TSMC were in talks with the White House about building new chip factories in the US. Today, TSMC has announced its intention to “build and operate an advanced semiconductor fab” located in Arizona.
As the TSMC press release explains, the new facility will, “utilize TSMC’s 5-nanometer technology for semiconductor wafer fabrication, have a 20,000 semiconductor wafer per month capacity, create over 1,600 high-tech professional jobs directly, and thousands of indirect jobs in the semiconductor ecosystem.” However, don’t expect it to start operating any time soon. Construction isn’t planned to commence until next year and the facility won’t begin production until some point in 2024.
Building a chip factory certainly isn’t cheap, and TSMC predicts a $12 billion investment will be required between 2021 and 2029. The company says it’s happy to invest due to a “continued strong partnership with the U.S. administration and the State of Arizona.” This isn’t the first chip factory TSMC is building in the US, though. A TSMC facility already operates in Camas, Washington, and the company also operates design centers located in Austin, Texas and San Jose, California.
As to what chips will be pumped out of the Arizona facility when it comes online, a tweet by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gives us a hint. In the tweet he states, “The U.S. welcomes TSMC’s intention to invest $12B in the most advanced 5-nanometer semiconductor fabrication foundry in the world. This deal bolsters U.S. national security at a time when China is trying to dominate cutting-edge tech and control critical industries.” We’ll have to wait until 2024 to see exactly what critical industry silicon TSMC pumps out in Arizona.