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Taiwan’s TSMC reportedly considering more advanced US facility

Report claims TSMC could build 3 nm fab instead of 5 nm facility in Phoenix

(Reuters photo)

(Reuters photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) is considering plans to increase its Arizona investment by tens of billions of dollars, according to Reuters.

TSMC announced last year it plans to build a US$12 billion foundry in Phoenix to produce some of its 5 nm chips. Now, the company is mulling if the next plant should be upgraded to a 3 nm process facility, the report claimed.

A 3 nm fab would cost between US$23–25 billion, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters. The source also said that since TSMC plans to build out its campus out over the next 10 to 15 years, it is also mulling whether or not to make next-generation 2 nm or smaller chips in Phoenix as well.

TSMC, Intel, and Samsung are all expected to compete for American government subsidies in building facilities, as President Biden has proposed US$50 billion in funding to bolster chip manufacturing in the U.S.

The company did reply for comment on its Arizona facility plans, but TSMC CEO C.C. Wei (魏哲家) said last month that “further expansion is possible” after an initial phase, per the report. Wei said TSMC would gauge efficiency in Phoenix and customer demand and decide on the next steps.

Meanwhile, TSMC founder and former Chairman Morris Chang (張忠謀) pointed out in a speech last month that operating costs in the U.S. are much higher than Taiwan and that there is a thin talent pool in America in terms of engineers. In reference to the proposed U.S. subsidies, Chang said, “short-term subsidy cannot make up for long-term operational disadvantage.”

According to another anonymous source, TSMC executives are planning long-term, beginning with mature processes and ramping up volume while gradually introducing more advanced chips.

Updated : 2022-05-20 11:57 GMT+08:00