TSMC eyes expansion of planned Arizona plant

Three people with knowledge of the matter claim that 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.

TSMC, the world’s largest contract chipmaker, announced in May 2020 it would build a $12 billion factory in Arizona.

Taiwan’s investment commission of the ministry of economic affairs said, in December, that TSMC is setting up a 12-inch wafer fabrication plant in Phoenix, and the facility is expected to start volume production in 2024.

TSMC manufactures the bulk of its chips in Taiwan and has older chip facilities in China and the U.S. state of Washington.

The sources claim 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.

TSMC last month said it planned to invest $100 billion over the next three years to increase production capacity, though it did not give details.

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