The Arizona factory project of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) has become more visible in recent weeks. The business aims to relocate some of the most advanced node processing to the United States, with the majority of it destined for Apple’s iPhones.
According to Bloomberg, TSMC will begin manufacturing on a 4nm process in Arizona in 2024. The decision represents an upgrade from the company’s previous plans to produce 5nm wafers there.
Apple, the silicon fabricator’s largest customer, allegedly encouraged the chip producer to make the decision. For goods such as the iPhone, the Cupertino tech behemoth normally gets first dibs on TSMC’s semiconductors. The iPhone 14 is powered by 4nm silicon from the Taiwanese company. The iPhone 15, which is slated to be released in late 2023, will employ a 3nm process, which TSMC will also make in the Arizona facility once the 4nm fab opens in 2024. As a result, the new factory may bring a larger share of iPhone production to the United States.
Although Apple and TSMC acknowledged the original plans for the plants last month, they have yet to publicly reveal 4nm manufacturing plans for Arizona.
The fab’s capacity may also be increased from the previously anticipated 20,000 wafers per month. According to sources, TSMC will publicly reveal the new roadmap when US President Joe Biden and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo attend an event in Phoenix next Tuesday.
The improvements are consistent with the United States’ intentions to reduce its reliance on chip imports from China and Taiwan. The majority of the world’s semiconductors are produced in Taiwan’s TSMC plants, but China’s threats to annex and possibly attack the country have recently escalated.
Meanwhile, industry sources say TMSC’s main competitor, Samsung, will produce 3nm chips for a variety of hardware companies. Samsung will supply silicon for Nvidia’s future graphics cards, IBM’s forthcoming CPUs, Qualcomm’s Arm smartphone chips, and Baidu’s cloud data centres, having begun 3nm manufacture in June.
However, TSMC will remain the largest supplier of 3nm technology and may face price rises as a result of the node process. According to recent sources, TSMC will sell 3nm wafers for $20,000 each, up from $16,000 per wafer in 5nm.
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