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TSMC will manufacture 3nm chips in Arizona. This is the plant Apple will be producing in 2024, and it has implications

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TSMC is building a new semiconductor factory in Arizona (United States). It will be ready to begin high-integration chip production in 2024 with a fully operational facility in Washington state. However, it may not be another plant. At least not. what We count them A week ago, Apple will be used To produce a good portion of its chips.

According to Ignacio Martil de la Plaza, a professor of electronics at Madrid’s Complutense University and an expert in semiconductors and photovoltaic solar energy, “a state-of-the-art chip factory would take no less than four years to become fully operational.” TSMC has invested $12,000 million in these facilities and still has more than a year of work to get them up and running.

Until a few hours ago we knew that this plant had lithographic nodes N5, N5P, N4, N4P, N4XBut all the clues we’ve pointed out mean it won’t have an N3E node will be the most advanced TSMC will be there in 2023. However, an unexpected turn now occurred. The founder of this company, Morris Chang, confirmed that his 3 nm node will arrive at his new factory in Arizona.

Taiwan won’t be home to TSMC’s most advanced lithography; It will also take her to America.

Morris Chang’s statements leave no room for doubt. “TSMC has a plan for its 3nm photolithography, although it is not yet fully formed. However, this technology will arrive at the Arizona factory in a second phase. 5nm is part of phase 1, and 3 nm will be included in phase 2.”, Confirm this executive.

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In all likelihood, TSMC is trying to cover its back if the current conflict between China and Taiwan escalates.

The decision not to limit its most advanced photolithography to plants in Taiwan has two clear implications. Mostly on one side TSMC is trying to cover its back If the conflict they currently have China and Taiwan fared worse Production capacity at its Asian facilities was threatened. There is no reason. Given the current situation, that may happen.

In fact, Mark Liu, CEO of this Taiwanese company, Firmly Earlier last August, it said that if tensions continued and they eventually clashed, it would force the shutdown of TSMC’s factories in Taiwan. When this time comes, plants in the United States equipped with your most advanced lithographic nodes will allow you to stay active and protect a portion of your business.

Also, we come to the second clue, it can’t just be any part of your business. It is the same As we saw a few days ago, the Arizona factory will absorb most of Apple’s chip production. In 2021 26% of TSMC revenue Came from this brand a number It consolidates the Tim Cook-led company as its top client, well ahead of the latter, which accounts for 5.8% for MediaTek.

Apple is TSMC’s best customer. In fact, in 2021, 26% of its revenue will come from the Tim Cook-led company.

It’s important not to overlook the fact that 3nm lithography won’t be available when production starts in 2024 at the Arizona factory, as Morris Chang envisions. Apple will already be making chips next year At TSMC’s N3E node (Maybe it’s the A17 Bionic and M3 processors), but they come from Taiwan. Perhaps, although this is only fair speculation, the Arizona plant will not be producing ICs at this node in 2024.

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Even so, diverting this technology to the United States will not only allow TSMC to protect part of its business; This decision Apple will do the same. In any case, many questions remain in the air, the most interesting of which is how much the people from Cupertino will monopolize the production of the Arizona plant. This information will have a clear impact on the business of other TSMC customers such as Mediatek, Qualcomm, AMD or NVIDIA. We’ll see what happens.

Cover Image: TSMC

Way: Reuters

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