Apple’s Chip Partner TSMC to Begin Mass Production of 5nm Chips at New Arizona Factory in 2024

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Apple chip supplier TSMC has confirmed that it will begin mass production operations at its new factory in Arizona in 2024, Nikkei Asia reports.

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TSMC Chairman Mark Liu announced that the company’s $12 billion factory in Phoenix, Arizona, which is currently under construction, will begin mass production in the first quarter of 2024. While the 2024 timeframe had previously been rumored by Bloomberg, TSMC’s announcement serves as a confirmation and indicates that the project is on track.

The first batch of engineers hired to staff the new U.S. factory arrived in Taiwan in late April this year for training, and the company is looking to accelerate its schedule for the facility as much as possible.

The facility will mass-produce chips fabricated with a 5nm process. TSMC has been gradually miniaturizing its process over the years, going from a 16nm A10 chip in iPhone 7 models, to a 7nm A13 chip in iPhone 11 models, and most recently a 5nm process for the iPhone 12‘s A14 chip. Likely clients for the chips made in the Arizona factory include Nvidia, Qualcomm, and Apple. The new Arizona plant will make it theoretically possible for Apple’s 5nm custom silicon chips, such as the A14 or M1 chip, to be manufactured within the United States.

TSMC’s main factories are located in Taiwan, but it already operates a factory in Camas, Washington, as well as design centers in Austin, Texas and San Jose, California, meaning that the Arizona facility will be its second manufacturing site in the United States.

Alongside the news about the Arizona factory, TSMC also said that it was looking into chip production sites in Japan, likely for chips destined for Sony devices, and set out the intention to build up overseas manufacturing capacity to ensure long-term competitiveness.

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