Apple chip supplier TSMC recently held its topping-out ceremony for its new fabrication plant in Phoenix, Arizona.
In 2021, the manufacturer of Apple’s A-series processors, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing, or TSMC, announced intentions to build an advanced chip factory in Phoenix, Arizona, United States.
The company then disclosed that the factory would make new 5-nanometer transistor chips, with its manufacturing set to start in 2024.
The $12 billion factory will be the first of its kind in the country to mass-produce 5nm chips. Since the A14 Bionic and M1 chip, all of Apple’s most recent chips have been made using a 5nm technology.
TSMC stated in a LinkedIn post:
According to TSMC Chairman Mark Liu’s announcement last year, 2021, the Arizona plant will begin its mass production in the first quarter of 2024. Following TSMC’s previously released plan, equipment move-in at the factory will start in the second half of 2022.
The factory also anticipates starting volume production in the first quarter of 2024 at the phase-one facility of the fab, which is planned for a monthly output capacity of 20,000 chips.
Nvidia, Qualcomm, and Apple are among the companies that may purchase the chips produced in the Arizona plant.
Apple’s 5nm custom silicon chips may potentially be produced in the United States for the first time with the new Arizona facility.
Meanwhile, Apple is rumored to shift its custom silicon to a 3nm process, starting with the M2 Pro or M3 chip.
By early 2024, when the Arizona factory begins commercial production, likely, Apple will still require a supply of 5nm chips from TSMC since the A16 chip in the iPhone 14 Pro is anticipated to be produced using a 5nm technology.
The Arizona facility will be TSMC’s second production location in the United States; its primary facilities are in Taiwan. It also has a factory in Camas, Washington, and design centers in Austin, Texas, and San Jose, California.
According to reports, Apple will establish a new research and development facility in Israel to produce future Mac-specific silicon chips.
During a Q&A session of the TSMC’s earnings conference in mid-July, Chairman Mark Liu discussed the higher-than-anticipated expenses for the new factory in Arizona.
However, costs should not be an issue because the factory intends to serve TSMC’s domestic customers in the U.S., according to Liu. He also mentioned that the U.S. government’s subsidies would be essential to TSMC’s efforts to cut costs.