January 29, 2023

Intel hopes to roll out its own new production process within the next two years, but TSMC says its technology in Arizona will be the most advanced in the United States by 2024. “I disagree with that view,” said Ann Kelleher, executive vice president of manufacturing technology development at Intel.

Arizona state and local officials have agreed to provide financial incentives for TSMC’s first phase of construction, and the company is expected to apply for federal funding for both phases under the CHIPS Act.

White House adviser Chatterjee estimated that TSMC’s two new factories in Arizona, once operating at full capacity, could meet U.S. demand for such advanced chips. But Handel Jones, an analyst in charge of international business strategy, said TSMC’s factories in Taiwan are still needed, both because of their production capacity and because they will manufacture more advanced technologies by 2026.

TSMC operates four factories in Taiwan, each capable of processing as many as 100,000 semiconductor wafers per month. In Arizona, TSMC initially said the first factory could process 20,000 wafers per month. It now estimates that the combined output of the two factories will be 50,000 units per month, or 600,000 units per year.

But even relatively small operations in the U.S. could become important, especially for individual customers like Apple or to produce particularly critical chips during emergencies, industry executives said.

Bob LeFort, president of the U.S. unit of Infineon, a major German chipmaker, said that by adding more advanced production technology in the U.S., TSMC “will help address the vulnerabilities associated with the semiconductor shortages that have been evident over the past few years.”

TSMC’s move also shows that the CHIPS Act is having an impact on the plans of big companies, helping to stimulate not only their spending but investment in the companies that provide them with the tools and materials to produce them.

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