Apple chip supplier TSMC plans to build another fabrication plant in Arizona alongside the $12 billion factory it has already committed to in Phoenix, reports The Wall Street Journal.
The second plant will be located north of Phoenix and investment is expected to be roughly similar to the $12 billion the company committed to in 2020, according to people familiar with the plans who spoke to WSJ.
The original plant was originally expected to exclusively mass-produce 5nm chips, but it is now gearing up to also produce more advanced 4nm chips with larger capacity at the facility, according to WSJ’s sources. The plant is expected to start mass production in 2024.
Meanwhile, the second plant is expected to manufacture cutting edge next-generation 3nm chips, a process that Apple is rumored to be moving its custom silicon to starting with the M2 Pro or M3 chip. Both Apple’s M3 chip for Macs and A17 chip for iPhone 15 Pro models are expected to be manufactured based on TSMC’s enhanced 3nm process. Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman has said he expects the M2 Pro to be used in the 14-inch MacBook Pro, 16-inch MacBook Pro, and a high-end Mac mini.
The news about TSMC’s unannounced plans follows attempts by the Biden administration to attract investments in U.S. chipmaking by offering companies billions in financial support to become established in the country. The efforts aim to counter China’s tech sector ambitions and secure components considered vital to national security. The efforts were accelerated after the chip shortages in late 2020 and 2021 underlined how important semiconductors have become in the world of consumer electronics.
TSMC’s main factories are located in Taiwan, but it already operates a factory in Camas, Washington, as well as design centers in Austin, Texas and San Jose, California, meaning that the second Arizona facility will be its third manufacturing site in the United States.