While it seems probable that at least one of the TSMC Arizona facilities will produce chips for Apple, a recent Bloomberg story claims that this is primarily a public relations stunt for the foreseeable future.
TSMC Announces to Construct a Second Arizona Facility Following High Demand
The construction of a $12 billion chip manufacturing facility in Arizona was announced by the Taiwanese Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) back in 2020. The primary chip facility’s construction was finished in August, and manufacturing is expected to start in 2024. Later, it was revealed that TSMC will construct many factories in the US state.
It is still unknown if the factory would produce Apple processors. While TSMC made just a few remarks hinting that the fab will be for 5nm chips, Apple actively lobbied for subsidies for the factory, suggesting that this was the intention. Given that Apple is anticipated to convert to a 3nm technology a year before the facility is set to operate, this would rule it out of contention for any upcoming Apple processors.
According to the most recent report, the second plant will reportedly use 3nm technology, which is currently the most cutting-edge production method. Later reports suggested that the first plant would be upgraded to 4nm, but this would still prevent it from producing the Apple chips anticipated in 2023 and beyond.
According to a recent Bloomberg report, neither of the TSMC Arizona facilities is likely to start producing Apple processors “anytime soon.” It thinks that Apple will instead purchase some less sophisticated chips just so it can claim to be buying American.
You can just picture it now. It’s 2025 and Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook has just taken the stage to announce the company’s latest gadget. It’s faster, more powerful, and in every way better than the previous iteration. And, one more thing: it features chips made in the US of A. The crowd applauds […]
What these factories are likely to offer is lesser components made using legacy manufacturing processes. [They will] likely get orders for a couple of key chips used in lesser devices like AirPods, TV, HomePod, or Watch.+
The new site will produce 20,000 wafers of silicon chips per month. That’s less than 1.6% of the 1.3 million it currently churns out monthly. And even if it adds another Arizona plant, as expected, the US facility will be nowhere near able to fill Apple’s total orders.”
TSMC’s choice to expand into the United States can mostly be attributed to two key factors: regional conflicts between China and Taiwan and the United States’ willingness to encourage the growth of the firm.