The deal comes with mutual understanding and commitment to support from the US federal government and the State of Arizona. To the trained ear, this sounds like something impossible to say no to.
Timing is impeccable too, as China sees Taiwan as its rebel province, and Taiwan sees itself as a sovereign state. Considering that US and China relations are probably close to an all-time low, the timing to make a TSMC factory in the US is excellent.
The US also wants to manufacture sensitive items at home, and considering its military budget, there are a lot of chips that will need advanced nodes for this machinery in the future.
The 5-nanometer fab will be built in Arizona with 20,000 semiconductor wafer per month capacity. It will 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. Bear in mind that by that time, 5nm will not be leading-edge technology as volume production for the next generation 3nm is expected in late 2022. After 3 nm comes the 2nm node, but this is something that still doesn’t have a solid birthday date.
US $12 billion investment until 2029
TSMC’s total spending on this project, including capital expenditure, will be approximately US$12 billion from 2021 to 2029. TSMC claims that this project is of critical strategic importance to a vibrant and competitive US semiconductor ecosystem that enables leading American 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 state of Arizona had to chip in on this excellent investment, and it doesn’t surprise us that Intel has several fabs in this state. You imagine that TSMC hopes to poach at least some of these talents.
In the United States, TSMC currently operates a fab in Camas, Washington, and has design centers in both Austin, Texas and San Jose, California. The Arizona facility will be TSMC’s second manufacturing site in the United States.