Washington, May 15 (IANS) In a strategic move to cut US dependence on China as far as technology supply chain is concerned, worlds largest contract semiconductor firm and Apple supplier Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) on Friday announced to build a $12 billion advanced chip facility in the state of Arizona that would create 1,600 direct jobs.
The decision to move chip manufacturing to the US is seen as result of massive disruption the American tech companies are facing as key parts of several products are manufactured at factories in Asia, particularity China.
Hsinchu, Taiwan-based TSMC said that its intention to build and operate an advanced semiconductor fab in the US with the mutual understanding and commitment from the federal government and the state of Arizona.
TSMC currently operates a fab in Camas, Washington and design centres at both Austin, Texas and San Jose, California. The Arizona facility would be TSMC’s second manufacturing site in the US.
The facility would utilise TSMC’s 5-nanometer technology for semiconductor wafer fabrication, have a 20,000 semiconductor wafer per month capacity, create over 1,600 high-tech professional jobs directly, and thousands of indirect jobs in the semiconductor ecosystem.
“Construction is planned to start in 2021 with production targeted to begin in 2024,” TSMC said in a statement.
The TSMC announcement follows a Wall Street Journal report this week that White House officials were in talks with TSMC and Intel to build chip foundries in the US to reduce reliance on chip factories in Asia.
“The US welcomes TSMC’s intention to invest $12B in the most advanced 5-nanometer semiconductor fabrication foundry in the world. This deal bolsters U.S. national security at a time when China is trying to dominate cutting-edge tech and control critical industries,” tweeted US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
TSMC currently provides chip components to several leading companies including Apple and Qualcomm.
“This US facility not only enables us to better support our customers and partners, it also gives us more opportunities to attract global talents,” said TSMC.
“This project is of critical, strategic importance to a vibrant and competitive US semiconductor ecosystem that enables leading US companies to fabricate their cutting-edge semiconductor products within the United States and benefit from the proximity of a world-class semiconductor foundry and ecosystem,” the Taiwanese company added.