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Apple supplier TSMC planning six U.S. fabs, says report

One plant in Arizona was reported last year, now there are five more.

What you need to know

  • Apple supplier TSMC is reportedly going to build 6 plants in the U.S.
  • Specifically five further unreported locations on top of one previously touted site in Arizona.
  • The first $12bn plant could be operational in 2024.

A new report says Apple supplier TSMC, which makes the chips for devices like the iPhone 12 and the M1 MacBook Pro, could build six plants in the U.S.

As Reuters notes, TSMC has one plant in the pipeline for the state of Arizona, but could be planning a further five:

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC) is planning to build several more chipmaking factories in the U.S. state of Arizona beyond the one currently planned, three people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

The $12bn Arizona plant is reportedly expected to start volume production in 2024, and now five more additional factories in the state might be on the way:

Three sources familiar with the matter, speaking on condition of anonymity as they were not authorised to speak to the media, told Reuters that up to five additional fabs for Arizona are being planned.

The initial fab is relatively modest by industry standards, with a planned output of 20,000 wafers – each of which contains thousands of chips – every month using the company’s most sophisticated 5 nanometre semiconductor manufacturing technology.

It is not clear how much additional production capacity and investment the additional fabs might represent, and which chip manufacturing technology they would use.

One source said it was impossible to give a timeframe, but that the U.S. government had requested the move, and that TSMC was internally planning to build up to six fabs. One person said the plan was to build six over the next three years.