Semiconductor Equipment

Apple to source chips from TSMC’s Arizona fab

18 November 2022

Apple Inc. said it will begin to source chips for its devices from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC)’s new fabrication plant currently under construction in Arizona.

The move will signify a step toward reducing Apple’s reliance on Asia for the manufacturing of semiconductors for its line of portable devices and computers.

According to a report from Bloomberg, Apple may also expand its supply of chips from plants in Europe as part of its efforts to reduce reliance on Asian chip manufacturing.

TSMC broke ground on the Arizona fab in June of 2021 where it will invest about $12 billion in the state-of-the-art facility. Production is scheduled to begin in 2024, the same time Apple said it will begin to source from TSMC at that location.

Once complete, the Arizona fab will be capable of manufacturing 20,000 300 mm semiconductor wafers per month and will have volume production at the 5 nm processing node by 2024.

Earlier this month, a report indicated that TSMC will likely build a second fab at the Arizona location nearby the current one under construction. This fab will also see an investment of $12 billion. This may also be part of TSMC’s long-term goal to build a “gigafab” in the region that would consist of multiple semiconductor production facilities that would be built over the next 10 to 15 years.

It is unclear if these fabs will qualify for funding through the recently passed CHIPS and Science Act, which will provide $52 billion in incentives and R&D funding for companies building semiconductor fabs in the U.S. However, TSMC and Samsung both lobbied for foreign companies to be included in the funding stating it would still stimulate U.S. domestic manufacturing.

Intel Corp. has also started its Intel Foundry Services for companies in the U.S. and Europe to have access to semiconductor manufacturing that is not sourced in Asia. The company has already signed up Amazon and Qualcomm as customers, and maybe more interesting, Taiwan-based MediaTek.

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