TSMC confirms 5nm fab in US

November 11, 2020 //By Peter Clarke
TSMC approves $3.5 billion spending for Arizona fab
Responding to the US-China trade war tensions, the world's largest foundry, TSMC, is to build a 5nm fab in Arizona with an initial $3.5bn investment

The funding is not enough for a complete 5nm fab but is expected to be first phase of what ultimately could be a $12 billion spend although significant support is expected to come from the Arizona state and US federal government. This would possibly as part of the CHIPS bill going through the US Congress as it would supply US customers such as Apple.

The plan to build a fab was made in May and was seen as one of the policy successes for the Trump administration in its goal of bringing manufacturing and supply chains back the US from Asia. TSMC seems ready to follow through on the plan despite the expectation that Joe Biden will become the next President.

TSMC has been under pressure to build a wafer fab in the US from both the Trump administration and leading US customers such as Apple. TSMC has previously said that construction is due to start in 2021 with chip production intended to begin in 2024. The total cost of the project would be about $12bn from 2021 to 2029.

However, with a 5nm starting point and a manufacturing capacity of 20,000 wafer starts per month it is set to be smaller than TSMC's largest wafer fabs and behind the leading-edge.

At the same board meeting TSMC approved an appropriation of US$15.1 billion to cover upcoming capital expenditure for both chip fabrication and packaging capacity and to cover R&D spending in the 1Q21.

www.tsmc.com

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