In a potential realignment of global trade designed to allay U.S. concerns over supply chain security, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) is planning to build a multibillion-dollar chip plant in Arizona with the backing of the Trump administration.
Apple’s ARM-based A13 Bionic SoC is manufactured on TSMC’s 2nd generation 7nm N7P technology and contains 8.5 billion transistors.
TSMC is the first foundry to provide 7-nanometer production capabilities and the first to commercialize Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) lithography technology in delivering customer products to market in high volume. As of 2018, TSMC employed 48,752 people worldwide.
The Taiwanese company is negotiating a deal with the administration of President Donald Trump to manufacture semiconductors in the U.S. to create jobs and produce sensitive components domestically for national security reasons, according to people familiar with the situations. Talks have been progressing swiftly in recent days and an announcement could come as early as Friday, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the deal is not public yet.
TSMC is the largest and most advanced maker of chips for other companies. Its factories, which are primarily located in Taiwan, produce important components designed by Apple Inc. and most of the largest semiconductor companies… An agreement would call for TSMC to build a plant in Arizona by 2023, according to the people. It’s unclear what type of support the project will get from the federal government or the state of Arizona.
A cutting-edge fab is expensive to build. TSMC spent NT$500 billion ($17 billion) to build an advanced facility in the southern Taiwanese city of Tainan that will churn out components for new iPhones this year. It plans another $16 billion in capital spending this year.
If the federal government provides cash for a U.S. plant, it’ll mark a shift in policy and rhetoric from a Republican administration. Trump’s White House has rarely supported such direct industrial intervention, favoring market dynamics. However, emerging trends may be forcing a reconsideration… Meanwhile, Trump has attacked international trade deals and tried to limit China’s access to semiconductor technology. A TSMC deal to bring high-skilled work to Arizona may help Trump’s re-election prospects this year.
MacDailyNews Take: COVID-19 will produce many paradigm shifts.