TSMC To Build Advanced Semiconductor Factory In Arizona

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), the world's largest contract manufacturer of silicon chips, is set to announce plans to build an advanced chip factory in Arizona (Warning: source paywalled; alternative source) as U.S. concerns grow about dependence on Asia for the critical technology. The plans come as the Trump administration has sought to jump-start development of new chip factories in the U.S. due to rising fears about the U.S.'s heavy reliance on Taiwan, China and South Korea to produce microelectronics and other key technologies.

TSMC is expected to announce the plans as soon as Friday after making the decision at a board meeting on Tuesday in Taiwan, according to people familiar with the matter. The factory could be producing chips by the end of 2023 at the earliest, they said, adding that both the State and Commerce Departments are involved in the plans. TSMC's new plant would make chips branded as having 5-nanometer transistors, the tiniest, fastest and most power-efficient ones manufactured today, according to a person familiar with the plans. TSMC just started rolling out 5-nanometer chips for customers to test at a factory in Taiwan in recent months. It is unclear how much TSMC has budgeted or if it would get financial incentives from the U.S. to build. A factory capable of making the most advanced chips would almost certainly cost more than $10 billion, according to industry executives.

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