Apple Chip Supplier TSMC Celebrates Arizona Factory Nearing Completion

Apple chip supplier TSMC recently hosted a topping-out ceremony for its new fabrication plant in Phoenix, Arizona, DigiTimes reports.

tsmc arizonaTSMC's topping-out ceremony in Arizona

The $12 billion factory will be the first of its kind to mass-produce 5nm chips in the United States. All of Apple's latest chips, dating back to the A14 Bionic and M1 chip, are fabricated with a 5nm process. In a post on LinkedIn, TSMC said:

Great progress continues on our 5-nanometer semiconductor fab – "FAB 21" – in #Phoenix, #Arizona. We recently celebrated placing the last beam – also known in the construction industry as a "topping" milestone - in FAB 21's fab building with our local partners. Over 4,000 attendees were on hand to enjoy this important moment including our own employees and partners. #TSMCArizona is on time and on track to bring the most advanced leading-edge semiconductor technology to the U.S.. We are deeply grateful to our partners and look forward to more successful milestones in Arizona.

Last year, TSMC Chairman Mark Liu announced that the company's Arizona plant will begin mass production in the first quarter of 2024. Likely clients for the chips made in the Arizona factory include Nvidia, Qualcomm, and Apple. The new Arizona plant will make it theoretically possible for Apple's 5nm custom silicon chips, to be manufactured within the United States for the first time.

Apple is rumored to move its custom silicon to a 3nm process starting with the M2 Pro or M3 chip. The iPhone 14 Pro's A16 chip is expected to continue being made with a 5nm process, so it is highly likely that Apple will still need a supply of 5nm chips from TSMC by early 2024 when the Arizona plant opens for mass-production.

TSMC's main factories are located in Taiwan, but it already operates a factory in Camas, Washington, as well as design centers in Austin, Texas and San Jose, California, meaning that the Arizona facility will be its second manufacturing site in the United States. Yesterday, it was reported that Apple is opening a new development site in Israel to develop future custom silicon chips for the Mac.

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Top Rated Comments

Leon Ze Professional Avatar
25 months ago
Good to see TSMC expand its operations in other geographic locales. This is an important step for both United States and the whole western world.

Due to threats against Taiwan ??. Which we hope never eventuate.
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DelayedGratificationGene Avatar
25 months ago
Great! Hope we see more of this. Congratulations to all.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bradman83 Avatar
25 months ago
I’m happy to see this type of thing being built in the US, but is Phoenix really the best choice for this? Semiconductor manufacturing uses a lot of water, and Phoenix (and the entire Southwestern US) doesn’t exactly have a lot to spare given the mega-drought.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nikaru Avatar
25 months ago
Great! More factories, in more countries and different locations is fundamental for guaranteeing supply in case of geopolitical, military and/or environmental/natural disaster crisis. Hope we will see one of these facilities in Europe soon as well.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Shirasaki Avatar
25 months ago
TSMC should accelerate their process to emigrate their key technologies out of Taiwan strait, eventually enabling the whole process (from design to manufacturing) to be completed elsewhere. Hopefully this new Arizona factory will be upgraded soon with the capability to fabricate more advanced chips. But able to fabricate 5nm is already a good start.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
W2u7Yw4HaD Avatar
25 months ago

Sadly this will go the same way as of the sapphire project, it’ll be a complete disaster and money wasted. :rolleyes:
Doubtful, since TSMC knows how to make the best chips in the world....

While diversification is good, the value in chip-making is the design not actually making it. Which the USA is already top dog on... This helps as a hedge against Taiwan issues... But not really a big win frankly...

We now have a glut of chips by the way.. :)
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)