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TSMC is having it rough beating Intel in Building a Large U.S. Chip Plant

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According to a new article from the Nikkei Asian Review, the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) is having trouble setting up its chip manufacturing facility in the United States.

According to current plans, TSMC is building a $12 billion plant in Arizona that will manufacture semiconductors using the company’s 7-nanometer (nm) chip manufacturing node once it is operational in 2024.

Limited recruiting possibilities and a lack of a critical ecosystem in a foreign country, however, are posing challenges for the world’s largest contract chip manufacturer, according to The Review, especially as it competes with Intel Corporation’s $20 billion facility expansion in the same state.

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Even though semiconductor production has gained prominence in the global economy as a result of chip shortages disrupting auto manufacture, the industry remains largely unknown to the general public. This results in a shortage of qualified workers, particularly engineers who must operate complicated chip production machinery, as well as technicians who must perform heavy lifting and walk great distances.

Intel Corporation, TSMC’s only American competitor, has decades of expertise working in the United States and already operates one of its largest facilities in Arizona. Intel was cautious to mention ties with academia as part of its announcement of a $20 billion expansion of its Arizona plant, to allay fears of a skills shortage.

Intel already has the largest hiring firm for graduates of Arizona State University, and when combined with a solid ecosystem provided by existing manufacturers, it is reasonable to assume that Intel has a significant advantage against TSMC when it comes to constructing and operating new plants in the area.

TSMC is hunting for new employees outside of the U.S

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The fab is currently attempting to recruit people from Taiwan to work in its plants, according to insiders who talked to The Review. This isn’t the first time a story like this has surfaced, with previous reports indicating a high desire among Taiwanese to relocate to the United States and work at TSMC.

Furthermore, the company’s efforts to send U.S. personnel to Taiwan for training have resulted in a cultural misalignment. Its staff in Asia are accustomed to harsh working conditions that require them to be on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and experts feel that recreating this with the American workforce will be impossible.

These are exacerbated by the company’s lack of popularity in the United States, which, according to the Japanese journal, is harming its ability to attract talented specialists. Salaries for TSMC employees in Taiwan are around half of what a typical software engineer in the United States earns, which drives up costs.

Mr. Morris Chang, the founder of TSMC, has previously stated all of these issues. Mr. Chang had previously stated in a Keynote address that not only is the Taiwanese working culture far more difficult than that of the United States, but that the price of developing facilities and producing semiconductors is also significantly greater.

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Nivedita Bangari
Nivedita Bangari
I am a software engineer by profession and technology is my love, learning and playing with new technologies is my passion.

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