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TSMC PLANNING TO PRODUCE ADVANCED 3 NM CHIP IN ITS NEW ARIZONA PLANT

Updated: Nov 30, 2022


TSMC PHOENIX FAB - ARTIST'S RENDERING

TSMC FAB UNDER CONSTRUCTION IN PHOENIX ARIZONA


In a move that has the potential to improve the resiliency of the world's semiconductor supply chain, the number two largest chip manufacturer by revenue, Taiwanese-based TSMC, is planning on manufacturing its advanced 3-nanometer chips in its brand new Arizona-based factory starting in 2024. This decision builds on President Trump's May 2020 deal to have TSMC build a $12 billion dollar fab production facility in Arizona.


Following in the previous administration's footsteps, the Biden administration has continued to work towards expanding chip manufacturing in the United States via initiatives like the US-Taiwan Technology Trade and Investment Collaboration framework (TTIC) and the Chips and Science Act (CHIPS Act).


Last year, Reuters reported on TSMC's discussion around potentially expanding the Fab production facilities in Arizona to be able to produce 3-namometer wafers, as well as the originally planned 5-nanometer chips.


Chang, addressing the reporters in Tapei upon returning form the APEC summit in Thailand, said that the 3-nanometer plant and 5-nanomter plant would be colocated at the current location.


"Three-nanometre, TSMC right now has a plan, but it has not been completely finalised," said Chang, who has retired from TSMC but remains influential in the company and the broader chip industry. "It has almost been finalised - in the same Arizona site, phase two. Five-nanometre is phase one, 3-nanometre is phase two."


TSMC, Asia's most valuable stock listed company, declined to comment, and referred to its statement earlier this month that it while it was building on a site for a potential second fab in Arizona it had not arrived on a final decision.


The company is holding a "tool-in" ceremony in Arizona on Dec. 6. "Tool-in" involves equipping the cleanroom with fab specific equipment, including scanners, etching, deposition, resist removal, inspection tools and other tools and equipment necessary for producing wafers and chips. For reference, the "Tool In" phase follows the "Topping Off" ceremony in which the final beam of the Fab Shell is placed and then the necessary base infrastructure such as wiring, sewerage, ventilation, anti-vibration devices, air conditioning, etc. is installed


Chang said he would be attending, along with TSMC customers and suppliers and U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo.


Chang noted that U.S. President Joe Biden has also been invited, but has not confirmed whether or not he will be attending.


Taiwan's dominant position as a maker of chips used in technology from cellphones and cars to fighter jets has caused concern the world is too reliant on the island, especially as China has become increasingly aggressive in asserting its sovereignty claims over the 23.34 million person island democracy.


The United States and Europe are both using billions in incentives to induce companies to make chips closer to home with a focus a focus on Taiwanese firms.


Chang said people had only just woken up to how important chips were.


"There are a lot of jealous people, jealous of Taiwan's excellent chip manufacturing," he said. "So there are also a lot of people who for various reasons, whether it is for national security or making money, hope to manufacture more chips in their countries."


Chang said in his meetings at APEC "many countries asked me, can we go to their countries to manufacture chips?"


He did not specify the countries in question.


Read more at Reuters: HERE


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