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Apple chip supplier TSMC is moving ahead with plans for a manufacturing plant in Phoenix, Arizona, according to Bloomberg.

tsmc_semiconductor_chip_inspection_678x452.jpg

In November of 2020, Phoenix city officials approved financial incentives and government support for the new plant. The city agreed to provide $200 million in support to build infrastructure including roads and sewers, according to a notice from the city's council.

TSMC estimates that its total spending on the project, including capital expenditure, will be approximately $12 billion from 2021 to 2029, with the facility expected to directly create over 1,600 high-tech professional jobs.

Construction of the Arizona plant is now said to be "well under way." The facility will mass-produce chips fabricated with a five-nanometer process by 2024. TSMC has been gradually miniaturizing its process over the years, going from a 16nm A10 chip in iPhone 7 models, to a 7nm A13 chip in iPhone 11 models, and a 5nm process for the iPhone 12's A14 chip. Likely clients for the chips from the Arizona factory include Nvidia, Qualcomm, and Apple.

TSMC already operates a factory in Camas, Washington and design centers in Austin, Texas and San Jose, California, so the Arizona facility will be its second manufacturing site in the United States. The company's main factories are located in Taiwan.

The new Arizona plant will increase the opportunity for Apple's custom silicon chips, such as the A14 or M1 chip, to be feasibly manufactured within the United States.

Article Link: Construction of Apple Supplier Plant in Arizona 'Well Under Way,' Will Manufacture Chips by 2024
 

icanhazapple

macrumors 6502a
Feb 26, 2009
515
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TSMC will begin fabbing 3nm chips by next year, so 5nm in 2024 seems…a bit behind the curve?

yes, yes - Apple will still have mainstream products being sold in 2024 on 5nm but the subtext of what is being printed would suggest the best node still remains in the Taiwan fab.

Also - I doubt that Apple would be the exclusive customer for chips from this fab. Let’s just hope this fab has a better outcome than Foxconn in Wisconsin.
 
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jav6454

macrumors P6
Nov 14, 2007
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TSMC will begin fabbing 3nm chips by next year, so 5nm in 2024 seems…a bit behind the curve?

yes, yes - Apple will still have mainstream products being sold in 2024 on 5nm but the subtext of what is being printed would suggest the best node still remains in the Taiwan fab.

Also - I doubt that Apple would be the exclusive customer for chips from this fab. Let’s just hope this fab has a better outcome than Foxconn in Wisconsin.
Perhaps it’ll be 3nm or less. Just used 5nm as placeholder.
 

StevieD100

macrumors 6502a
Jan 18, 2014
684
1,049
Living Dangerously in Retirement
Nothing like putting an industry that needs a few gazillion litres of water each and every day right in the middle of :-
1) A desert/semi-desert region
2) An area that is experiencing a drought.

How much did that decision going to cost TSMC/APPLE in the long run?
What's a few billion between friends eh?
 
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KillerTree

macrumors regular
Jul 27, 2008
228
59
M2Z Mac Pro USA-made chips for USA-made Mac Pros? Manufacturing a chip in USA just to ship it to China to be placed in an iPhone seems like a huge waste of resources.
 

citysnaps

macrumors 604
Oct 10, 2011
7,623
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San Francisco
Well, there you go...

People upset that more manufacturing related to Apple products isn't occurring within the United States. And then they're upset because some is now coming to the US. And oh noes, TSMC, an extraordinarily successful and profitable global company, bringing a fab to the US and with that 1,600 US jobs, somehow forgot to think about water. Someone please let them know!
 

magbarn

macrumors 68030
Oct 25, 2008
2,507
1,660
Global warming = less snow pack in mountains = less water in Colorado River = less water for Southwestern states like Arizona = long term problems with water intensive chip fab factories.
Sad to say, but I don't think anyone else really stepped up to the plate.
Rather poor for the environment to make chips in the USA then ship them off to the other side off the world for assembly. And we are to trust chips built in the USA? The NSA wont want to get in and modify in some security vulnerabilities?
vs. an island nation next to a hostile neighbor that continuously threatens their existence with developing the fastest amphibious assault craft? I'm happy that not all the worlds eggs aren't going to be in one basket anymore as Intel and GF has fallen way behind TSMC....
 

cmaier

macrumors Core
Jul 25, 2007
22,833
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California
Rather poor for the environment to make chips in the USA then ship them off to the other side off the world for assembly. And we are to trust chips built in the USA? The NSA wont want to get in and modify in some security vulnerabilities?
That would be impossible. You ever try to modify a set of masks to do anything?
 
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W2u7Yw4HaD

macrumors regular
Jul 26, 2005
115
162
TSMC will begin fabbing 3nm chips by next year, so 5nm in 2024 seems…a bit behind the curve?

yes, yes - Apple will still have mainstream products being sold in 2024 on 5nm but the subtext of what is being printed would suggest the best node still remains in the Taiwan fab.

Also - I doubt that Apple would be the exclusive customer for chips from this fab. Let’s just hope this fab has a better outcome than Foxconn in Wisconsin.
Yeah, way behind the curb..! I was thinking the same thing.. It's almost as if TSMC is throwing the US a bone with this one and keeping the 3nm close to the vest.... And while it's good to diversify, besides doing the construction, there isn't a vast number of jobs made by doing this.. Since all this needs to be run by automation anyway...
 

cmaier

macrumors Core
Jul 25, 2007
22,833
27,585
California
Yeah, way behind the curb..! I was thinking the same thing.. It's almost as if TSMC is throwing the US a bone with this one and keeping the 3nm close to the vest.... And while it's good to diversify, besides doing the construction, there isn't a vast number of jobs made by doing this.. Since all this needs to be run by automation anyway...

it’s a supply chain diversification issue.
 

ruka.snow

macrumors 65816
Jun 6, 2017
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That would be impossible. You ever try to modify a set of masks to do anything?

I am well aware it is currently impossible to modify a CPU during assembly, but the USA has such a long history off spying and being caught spying that you can't help feel uneasy when important devices and the processors being shoved in them come from an untrustworthy source. It always feels like "Don't buy their spy riddled tech, buy ours instead.".
 

cmaier

macrumors Core
Jul 25, 2007
22,833
27,585
California
I am well aware it is currently impossible to modify a CPU during assembly, but the USA has such a long history off spying and being caught spying that you can't help feel uneasy when important devices and the processors being shoved in them come from an untrustworthy source. It always feels like "Don't buy their spy riddled tech, buy ours instead.".

So worry about where the assembly of the motherboard happens, not where the die is fabbed.
 
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GeoStructural

macrumors 6502a
Oct 8, 2016
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Also - I doubt that Apple would be the exclusive customer for chips from this fab. Let’s just hope this fab has a better outcome than Foxconn in Wisconsin.

I always considered the Foxconn Wisconsin factory to be a political gig to calm the waters at that time. Too coincidental to me.

I work on the same street where the TSMC offices are in Austin (Burnet Rd) and often picture myself getting in there and seeing all they do, that would be fascinating. They hire our graduates like crazy, I am proud the USA is still involved in all these developments even if manufacturing is done elsewhere.
 
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Sasparilla

macrumors 68000
Jul 6, 2012
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One of the odd things in all this with Fab placement is that the process uses alot of water. And both Intel and TMSC put their new Fab facilities in CA or AZ. Taiwan is in the middle of a huge drought as well (they're hoping for a Typhoon strike, really, just to get levels up). Must not matter enough to place it in a location with alot of water.

An TMSC certainly keeps their latest and greatest back on Taiwan at home. Both because that is where most of their engineers / expertise are and also to keep Taiwan very important to the world's economy as China's power grows stronger and the risk of an invasion grows larger...and being important makes it more likely of support from other countries if such an event were to occur (here's hoping it does not).


Rather poor for the environment to make chips in the USA then ship them off to the other side off the world for assembly. And we are to trust chips built in the USA? The NSA wont want to get in and modify in some security vulnerabilities?
As was detailed, this was often done at high levels of a company previously - and it seemed obvious Intel (since their CEO wouldn't answer direct questions about it at the time) and Microsoft were on board, basically the whole tech industry seemed to bend over for that, except Apple, it was always a problem (good ol' Jobs).

The NSA isn't going to change a chip design at a plant (they're fabbed with photographic plates sent from TMSC corporate). The soft targets would be software and ROM's, trying to change chip design would be very hard - and leave evidence. So this seems like an unrealistic fear.
 
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brunerd

macrumors member
Sep 24, 2009
49
57
Chicago
I think Arizona is a great choice! When it (perhaps) becomes an unlivable desert in the next few decades it won't affect production (because they can likely recycle water) but it will reduce the number of humans in the area overall, which is a big win for product security less peeps = less leaks! 😁 They'll get it as automated as possible and then it'll just be robots in the boiling desert making chips, with humans staffed at the plant like those on an oil rig, non-permanent doing long tours. Is it too early in the morning for sci-fi scenarios?
 

jlocker

macrumors 6502a
Jun 20, 2011
974
1,154
Lake Michigan
I think it is very smart to have a chip fab manufacturing in your home county. The world can be unstable sometimes and having a factory is very smart inside your borders. Just asked the United States in the 1930's when we had to rapidly create factories to fight a war. Having everything outside your county can be a dangerous problem.
 

Glideslope

macrumors 604
Dec 7, 2007
6,956
4,249
The Adirondacks.
Well, there you go...

People upset that more manufacturing related to Apple products isn't occurring within the United States. And then they're upset because some is now coming to the US. And oh noes, TSMC, an extraordinarily successful and profitable global company, bringing a fab to the US and with that 1,600 US jobs, somehow forgot to think about water. Someone please let them know!

As expected. It’s simply the nature of these forums participants. Really isn’t much to do as far as informing. It will always be a Zero Sum Game for them.

The Water Conservation strategies that will be implemented at the Fab will always be inadequate.
 
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