© TSMC - for illustrative purposes only
Sources: TSMC is planning five additional fabs in Arizona
The worlds biggest semiconductor foundry is reportedly planning to build several new manufacturing facilities in the US, more specifically in Arizona.
Back in May 2020, the Taiwanese company announced its intention to build and operate a new semiconductor fab in the US, with support from the US government and the state of Arizona. The plan is to start construction of this, USD 12 billion, semiconductor manufacturing facility during the current year – with production targeted to begin in 2024 However, according to sources that spoke to Reuters, TSMC is looking to set up operations in Arizona that will be far bigger than the initial announcement from last year. Three sources familiar with the matter told Reuters that the semiconductor giant has plans for up to five additional fabs in Arizona. The original expansion to be built in Arizona, will utilise TSMC’s 5-nanometer technology for semiconductor wafer fabrication, and have a capacity of 20’000 semiconductor wafer per month. How much additional capacity these additional fabs could – or might – add is still not clear. Last month, in a filling with the Taiwanese stock exchange, TSMC announced that it is planning to invest USD 100 billion over the next three years to increase its production capacity – without specifying how or where it would make these investments. One source, described to have direct knowledge in the matter, told Reuters that the expansion came as a direct response to a request from the US. "The United States requested it. Internally TSMC is planning to build up to six fabs," the person told Reuter while declining to provide further details. A second source said that the company made sure that the obtained land for the first plant could offer enough space to an expansion, confirming the information from the first source stating; "It's so they can build six fabs." TSMC did not confirm or deny the information when approached by Reuters, but rather referred to comments made by its CEO C.C. Wei during an earnings call last month, reiterating that the company is looking to start production in 2024 with a 20’000 wafer per month capacity. At the same time, the company told Reuters that: “But in fact, we have acquired a large piece of land in Arizona to provide flexibility. So further expansion is possible, but we will ramp up to Phase 1 first, then based on the operation efficiency and cost economics and also the customers’ demand, to decide what the next steps we are going to do.”