Apple’s Chipmaker TSMC Announces Plan to Build Arizona Factory

Apple’s chipmaking partner TSMC today announced its intention to build and operate an advanced semiconductor factory in Arizona, with construction planned to start in 2021 and production targeted to begin in 2024.


The facility will be able to manufacture around 20,000 chips per month using TSMC’s latest 5-nanometer fabrication process. TSMC has been gradually shrinking the size of its dies over the years, going from a 16nm A10 chip in iPhone 7 models to a 7nm A13 chip in iPhone 11 models. iPhone 12 models are expected to use a 5nm A14 chip.

TSMC estimates that its total spending on this project, including capital expenditure, will be approximately $12 billion from 2021 to 2029, with the facility expected to create over 1,600 high-tech professional jobs directly.

TSMC already operates a factory in Camas, Washington and design centers in both Austin, Texas and San Jose, California, so the Arizona facility would be its second manufacturing site in the United States. The company’s main factories are in Taiwan.

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Apple Supplier TSMC to Open Advanced Chip Factory in Arizona

Apple supplier TSMC, which makes the A-series chips used in Apple’s devices, will soon announce plans to build an advanced chip factory in Arizona, reports The Wall Street Journal.


TSMC is expected to announce the plans as soon as Friday after finalizing its decision at a board meeting on Tuesday. The factory could be up and running by the end of 2023 at the earliest.

The new TSMC plant would produce five-nanometer chips, which are the fastest and most power-efficient chips available today, a person with knowledge of TSMC’s plans told The Wall Street Journal.

Apple’s upcoming A14 chips designed for the 2020 iPhone models will use TSMC’s 5-nanometer technology, with production to begin in the second quarter of 2020.

At this time, it’s not known if TSMC is getting financial incentives from the U.S. to build a factory in Arizona, nor how many jobs the factory will bring. A typical TSMC factory employs thousands of people.

TSMC had been talking to U.S. officials and Apple about a U.S. chip factory for some time, but the conversations “gained momentum” amid concerns with the fragility of the Asian supply chain.

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TSMC Reportedly ‘On Track’ to Begin Volume Production of A14 Chips for iPhones Despite Pandemic

TSMC is “on track” to begin volume production of 5nm chips in April, despite “recent speculation” indicating that the foundry had been requested by Apple to defer production of A14 processors by one or two quarters, according to DigiTimes.


A paywalled preview of the report claims that TSMC’s manufacturing lines remain fully booked for 5nm chips amid the current pandemic.

TSMC has been Apple’s exclusive supplier of A-series chips since 2016, and its chips have gradually become smaller as it continues to refine its manufacturing process, benefitting performance, battery life, and thermal management on iPhones.

Apple plans to introduce four high-end iPhone 12 models with 5G support in the fall, including one 5.4-inch model, two 6.1-inch models, and one 6.7-inch model, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Due to the ongoing pandemic, however, there have been conflicting reports on exactly when Apple will unveil its latest iPhones.

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