TSMC triples US investment to $40bn with a second Arizona fab

7 Dec 2022

Image: © Sundry Photography/Stock.adobe.com

Apple CEO Tim Cook said that the iPhone maker will be the biggest customer of the TSMC site in Arizona once it begins production.

In what is one of the largest foreign direct investments in US history, Taiwanese chipmaker TSMC has announced a $40bn investment in the creation of two fabs in Arizona.

The move, described as a “historic milestone”, will boost domestic semiconductor production in the US and diversify TSMC’s production facilities.

It comes at a time when the semiconductor industry has been affected by macroeconomic and supply chain issues, leading to a global chip shortage.

TSMC is the world’s biggest contract chipmaker. Headquartered in Taiwan, the company is currently working on a $12bn fab in Arizona that is scheduled to begin production of its N4 chip technology in 2024.

However, at an event yesterday (6 December) attended by US president Joe Biden and Apple CEO Tim Cook, TSMC announced it has started construction on a second fab in Arizona.

This fab is scheduled to begin production of 3nm chips in 2026 – technology that is used by both Apple and Intel. It brings TSMC’s overall investment in the US state to $40bn – the largest FDI in Arizona history and more than triple the original figure.

“I’m deeply honoured that we have been able to gather here to celebrate such a historic milestone for TSMC, which represents our dedication to building a semiconductor ecosystem here in the USA in order to better serve our customers,” TSMC’s CEO, Dr C C Wei, said at the event.

“This project is truly a testament to the grand alliance TSMC has formed with customers, suppliers and partners to further our collaboration and unleash innovation.”

Cook said that Apple, an existing customer of TSMC, will buy processors from the new fab in Arizona. “And now, thanks to the hard work of so many people, these chips can be proudly stamped Made in America,” Cook added. “This is an incredibly significant moment.”

In a tweet yesterday, he also confirmed that Apple will become the site’s largest customer once it begins production. “The opening of TSMC’s plant in Arizona marks a new era of advanced manufacturing in the US.”

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic