TSMC to build second US-based chip plant in Arizona

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) confirmed earlier reports that it intends to build and operate a second semiconductor fabrication plant (fab for short) in the US following talks with the government there.

The company had previously indicated it was "actively evaluating all the suitable locations, including in the US." It's now clear that the plant will be built in Arizona, with construction pegged to start in 2021 and production in 2024.

TSMC said the plant will focus on 5-nanometer technology for semiconductor wafer fabrication and have capacity for 20,000 semiconductor wafers per month. Total investment in the facility is estimated at around $12 billion from 2021 to 2029.

TSMC already operates a fab in Camas, Washington, and design centers in Austin, Texas, and in San Jose, California. The Arizona facility will be its second manufacturing site in the US and is expected to create over 1,600 high-tech professional jobs directly, and thousands of indirect jobs in the semiconductor ecosystem.

Notably, TSMC emphasized the "strong partnership with the US administration and the State of Arizona on this project." Indeed, the confirmation of a second plant aligns with the reported intention of the Trump administration to reduce reliance on Asian factories for critical technology. Intel is also said to be in talks with the US Department of Defense on the construction of a "commercial foundry."

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— Anne Morris, Contributing Editor, Light Reading

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