Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
54,253
16,098


Apple supplier TSMC, which makes the A-series chips used in Apple's devices, will soon announce plans to build an advanced chip factory in Arizona, reports The Wall Street Journal.

tsmc_logo_new.jpg

TSMC is expected to announce the plans as soon as Friday after finalizing its decision at a board meeting on Tuesday. The factory could be up and running by the end of 2023 at the earliest.

The new TSMC plant would produce five-nanometer chips, which are the fastest and most power-efficient chips available today, a person with knowledge of TSMC's plans told The Wall Street Journal.

Apple's upcoming A14 chips designed for the 2020 iPhone models will use TSMC's 5-nanometer technology, with production to begin in the second quarter of 2020.

At this time, it's not known if TSMC is getting financial incentives from the U.S. to build a factory in Arizona, nor how many jobs the factory will bring. A typical TSMC factory employs thousands of people.

TSMC had been talking to U.S. officials and Apple about a U.S. chip factory for some time, but the conversations "gained momentum" amid concerns with the fragility of the Asian supply chain.

Note: Due to the political or social nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Political News forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Article Link: Apple Supplier TSMC to Open Advanced Chip Factory in Arizona
 

Exponent

macrumors regular
Jul 17, 2002
199
471
Silicon Valley
Great news, especially as the smallest geometry out of Global Foundries is 12LP+, which they claim is equivalent to a 10nm process in terms of performance.

Intel is smaller, but I don't know what they are doing for foundry-type operations these days.

I wonder if US defense contractors will be able to use this domestic 5nm process?
 
Comment

Michael Scrip

macrumors 604
Mar 4, 2011
6,800
9,227
NC
Correct me if I'm wrong... but TSMC is a chip manufacturer, right? We're talking about silicon.

So I don't know why people are thinking iPhone assembly is coming to the US anytime soon. That's still handled overseas by companies like Foxconn, Pegatron, etc.

As much as I'd love a "Made in the USA" iPhone... this announcement isn't that. :p
 
Comment

yaxomoxay

macrumors demi-god
Mar 3, 2010
6,142
31,482
Texas
I'm sure dotard in chief will take credit as soon as he finds out about it.
Just waiting for Trump's Tweet taking credit for this.

maybe reading the articles mentioning that the Administration (principally State Dept and Commerce Dept) is the one negotiating with them might help you put things into perspective.
 
Comment

konqerror

macrumors 68020
Dec 31, 2013
2,298
3,693
Not sure where in Arizona the TSMC facility will be located, but in general there’s a good labor pool that’s relatively low cost. It’s a good move.

It's not labor, it's cost of electrical power. Chip fabs take an insane amount of power to run. China, Taiwan, and South Korea get the majority of power from fossil fuels, particularly coal, which gives them a huge advantage. Other issues are lack of disasters like hurricanes and earthquakes since interrupting processes destroys chips and easily costs tens of millions.
 
Comment

now i see it

macrumors 604
Jan 2, 2002
7,212
14,821
Might as well go for the juggler-
Intel has three fabs in AZ.
Maybe tsmc will build their factory across the street- ha
 
Comment

PickUrPoison

macrumors G3
Sep 12, 2017
8,131
10,721
Sunnyvale, CA
Supply chain diversification at its best. Soon Apple will be doing the once-impossible: making iPhones in places that aren't China, India, or Brazil.
This isn’t supply chain diversity, it’s geographic diversity in manufacturing by an Apple vendor.

If TSMC does make any chips for Apple at that plant, they’ll be shipped to China, Taiwan, Malaysia, or wherever the PCB manufacturing is done.
 
Comment

Metrosey

macrumors 6502a
Oct 18, 2019
630
764
Might as well go for the juggler-
Intel has three fabs in AZ.
Maybe tsmc will build their factory across the street- ha

They have many fabs in many countries. Intel mainly fab for themselves, whereas TSMC are a third party for many businesses.
 
Comment

PickUrPoison

macrumors G3
Sep 12, 2017
8,131
10,721
Sunnyvale, CA
I hope this will happen, but i have a feeling it’ll end up like the wisconsin foxconn factory.
TSMC has nothing whatsoever to do with Foxconn, there’s no linkage between the two. There’s no reason the Wisconsin debacle should affect TSMC in any way.

Hopefully Arizona learned not to give away too much in the way of tax incentives (to companies that don’t need the corporate welfare).
 
  • Like
Reactions: Lazy
Comment

mozumder

macrumors 65816
Mar 9, 2009
1,056
3,375
If it's 5nm, then they're not going to be using it for Apple, as Apple is likely going to be at 3nm by 2023.

Most likely for classified US government manufacturing projects. Really that's the only reason these kind of manufacturing goes on in the US: for the US military.
 
  • Like
Reactions: SeattleMoose
Comment

justperry

macrumors G5
Aug 10, 2007
12,029
9,111
I'm a rolling stone.
It's not labor, it's cost of electrical power. Chip fabs take an insane amount of power to run. China, Taiwan, and South Korea get the majority of power from fossil fuels, particularly coal, which gives them a huge advantage. Other issues are lack of disasters like hurricanes and earthquakes since interrupting processes destroys chips and easily costs tens of millions.

Can you provide a link to an article that shows it uses massive amounts of electrical power.
I know these buildings are huge for a reason, cleaning the air so there are few (dust) particles in the air takes a lot of space, also the climate inside should be as stable as possible.
Still I think there are lots of other factories/processes which consume lots more than a chip factory.
 
Comment
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.