Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) is planning to build several more chipmaking fabs in the US state of Arizona beyond the one already planned, three people familiar with the matter said.
TSMC, the world’s largest contract chipmaker, announced in May last year that it would build a US$12 billion fab in Arizona.
The 12-inch wafer fab in Phoenix is expected to start mass production in 2024, the Investment Commission said in December, when it approved the plan.
Photo: Billy H.C. Kwok, Bloomberg
Three sources familiar with the matter, speaking on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to speak to the media, said that up to five additional fabs are being planned for Arizona.
The initial fab is relatively modest by industry standards, with a planned output of 20,000 wafers per month using the company’s most sophisticated 5-nanometer process technology.
It is not clear how much additional production capacity and investment the additional fabs might represent, and which process technology they would use.
TSMC last month said it planned to invest US$100 billion over the next three years to increase production capacity, although it did not give details.
One person with direct knowledge of the matter said that the expansion was in response to a request from the US, but declined to provide further details.
“The United States requested it. Internally TSMC is planning to build up to six fabs,” the person said, adding that it was not possible to give a timeframe.
US President Joe Biden’s administration is preparing to spend tens of billions of US dollars to support domestic chip manufacturing. Under existing legislation, foreign firms are eligible for those funds, but whether they will ultimately receive them is an open question.
A second person familiar with the plans said that TSMC had already made sure there was enough space for expansion when it obtained the land for the first fab.
“It’s so they can build six fabs,” the source said.
The third person, from a TSMC supplier involved in the Arizona project, said TSMC had told them the plan was to build a total of six fabs over the next three years.
Reuters was not able to independently confirm the timeframe.
TSMC referred to comments by CEO C.C. Wei (魏哲家) on an earnings call last month, saying that it was starting chip production in Arizona in 2024, deploying 5-nanometer technology to produce 20,000 wafers per month.
“We have acquired a large piece of land in Arizona to provide flexibility. So further expansion is possible, but we will ramp up to phase one first, then based on the operation efficiency and cost economics, and also the customers’ demand ... decide what the next steps” would be, the company said.
Asked whether the planned expansion was because of a request from the US, TSMC said: “Once there is any official decision, we will disclose it accordingly.”
‘LOCAL TRANSMISSION’: The nation reported 11 new cases, including seven local infections in the north, the highest daily number of cases since the pandemic began The COVD-19 situation has entered the “local transmission” stage and enhanced disease prevention measures have been implemented until June 8, the Central Epidemic Command Center announced yesterday as it reported six locally transmitted cases with unclear infection sources. The center reported 11 new cases yesterday: four imported cases from India, and seven local infections in northern Taiwan, the highest daily number of cases since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that one of the local infections — case No. 1,201 — is a woman who is a family member living with
SIXTEEN LOCAL: Three COVID-19 infections are linked to a cluster at a gambling house in Yilan County, 10 to a case in New Taipei City and three had unclear sources The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday urged people to increase vigilance and thoroughly practice preventive measures against COVID-19 as it reported 16 locally transmitted cases of the disease. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that 21 cases were confirmed in Taiwan yesterday: 16 local cases, four imported cases and one case undetermined. The locally transmitted cases are three linked to a cluster of infections at a gambling house in Yilan County, 10 associated with a previous case in New Taipei City and three with unclear sources of infection. The CECC on Tuesday reported a cluster
‘DOWN TO ZERO 2.0’: All pilots are to undergo quarantine at government centers, while cabin crew on long-haul flights have to quarantine for 14 days The Central Epidemic Command Center yesterday announced stricter measures to contain a COVID-19 outbreak among China Airlines (華航) flight crew, as the nature of the confirmed cases indicated an unknown chain of transmission within the airline. The “Down to Zero 2.0” plan will be tough on China Airlines personnel, but is necessary to minimize the risk to society, said Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center. Under the measures, all China Airlines pilots and copilots are to be recalled to undergo quarantine at government centers, while cabin crew who are returning from long-haul flights or who have
SHOPPING MALL: People who have been to places visited by the confirmed cases at about the same time should pay attention to their health condition and report symptoms The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday revealed several locations in Taoyuan and Taipei visited by two people confirmed to have COVID-19 when they were likely contagious. Case No. 1,183 — a China Airlines (華航) pilot, the husband of case No. 1,184 — on May 1 visited the “Pilot in Cafe” coffee shop from 12pm to 12:30pm, the Gloria Outlets (華泰名品城) shopping mall from 1pm to 1:30pm and Hutung Peng’s Old Shop Xinjiang Ramen (胡同彭家老舖新疆拉麵) from 2pm to 2:30pm, all in Taoyuan, the CECC said. People who visited the venues at about those times should pay attention to their health condition, and