Perspective: TSMC plans to build a second plant in Arizona, which will move the upcoming 3nm manufacturing process to the US. The plant could allow Apple to start manufacturing the iPhone in the US, but prices would rise. A lot of.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) will build a new factory to move its 3nm chip manufacturing process to the US. What used to be just a hope is now beginning to look like a full-fledged plan, as the founder of the world’s most valuable semiconductor company recently confirmed at a press conference.
Plans to build a second plant at the same location in Arizona where TSMC is already building its first plant are not yet fully completed. During a press briefing in Taipei, Morris Chang explained that the second plant will be the “second phase” of TSMC’s US business expansion after the “phase one” 5nm plant is expected to begin chip production in 2024.
Chips are “a very important product,” Chang said in Taipei after returning from a meeting of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders in Bangkok. The TSMC founder is now retired, but he seems to retain some influence in the tech industry.
At APEC, Chan met with US Vice President Kamala Harris and Chinese President Xi Jinping. TSMC’s impact on the industry and the global implications of China’s invasion of Taiwan have probably been some of the most discussed topics.
TSMC now accounts for approximately 90 percent of the world’s most advanced chip production, and the supply chain includes some of the industry’s biggest names such as Qualcomm and Apple. The iPhone manufacturing giant is one of the most interested parties in the Taiwanese foundry’s US venture, as Cupertino is likely to use a 3nm manufacturing process to produce ARM chips for the iPhone 15.
According to Chang, many people are “envy of Taiwan’s superior chip manufacturing.” Many of these unspecified people would like to bring TSMC’s manufacturing excellence to their countries. Chang said “many countries” asked him to develop some form of partnership with the Taiwanese corporation during the APEC meetings, although he did not say which countries approached him.
For now, investments in Arizona are the main focus of TSMC’s business expansion outside of Taiwan. Chang said that he knows “for certain” that manufacturing chips in the US will cost 55 percent more than in Taiwan, but such a high price will not “reduce the refusal to move some capacity to the US.”