Taiwanese chipmaker TSMC plans even bigger expansion in Arizona

The world’s largest chipmaker looks to double down on Arizona. Reuters reports that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) may build several new semiconductor facilities, or fabs, in Arizona, in addition to an already planned fab in Phoenix.

TSMC currently manufactures most of its chips in Taiwan, with older facilities in China and Washington state. But TSMC announced almost exactly a year ago that it would build a $12 billion plant in Phoenix designed to produce 20,000 12-inch wafers — thin slices of semiconductors that are essential to build microelectronic devices like smartphones and laptops — per month. Now, the company is planning to build at least five more fabs here, according to the Reuters report. It’s currently unclear what those fabs will produce. 

Reuters said the information came from “three sources familiar with the matter,” but the sources remained anonymous because they weren’t authorized to speak to the media. Still, this insight follows an announcement from TSMC in March that it plans to invest up to $100 billion over three years to meet chip demand.

Arizona is quickly becoming known as a major U.S. hub for semiconductor production. Just days before TSMC’s announcement in March, Intel announced plans to spend $20 billion to build two new fabs to add to its existing Chandler campus. Intel’s been in Arizona since 1980, but the new announcement is evidence of Arizona’s appeal to chipmakers. 

Samsung is also considering two sites in Arizona for a new $17 billion chip plant.  

All of these new semiconductor fabs come on the heel of the pandemic and a trade war with China, both of which contributed to a “chip crisis.” The Biden administration hopes to address this crisis by sending tens of billions of congressional funds to boost chip manufacturing in the U.S.  

All of this is good news for Arizona. These plans have the potential to strengthen the state’s economy, entice more tech companies to come and create thousands of new high-paying jobs here  

The TSMC fab is expected to start major production in 2024.