TSMC Will Build Third Arizona Fab After Winning $6.6B in CHIPS Funding

Ashley Belanger, reporting for Ars Technica:

The US Department of Commerce has proposed another round of CHIPS Act funding up to $6.6 billion for Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), which President Joe Biden hopes will “support the construction of leading-edge semiconductor manufacturing facilities right here in the United States.”

With this award — which includes additional funding up to $5 billion in low-cost government loans — TSMC has agreed to increase funding in Arizona fabrication plants to $65 billion. That’s the largest foreign direct investment in a new project in US history, the Commerce Department said, and it will fuel construction of TSMC’s third Arizona fab. [...]

But analysts told the Financial Times that the US is still moving too slowly to become a global chip leader. One engineer told FT that by 2028, “Nvidia and other AI chip vendors are likely to have migrated to 2nm” process technology, ahead of the TSMC Arizona fabs reaching that goal. In January, TSMC Chairman Mark Liu told investors that Taiwan-based fabs “will start 2nm mass production next year” and that the company has “plans to build ‘multiple’ more fabs operating on that technology” in Taiwan, FT reported.

The goal should be to jump ahead of Taiwan, not merely catch up. I suspect that’s just not remotely feasible, though. Still though, any domestic chip fabrication is better than no domestic chip fabrication.

Tuesday, 9 April 2024