DigiTimes says that TSMC, a company that makes chips for Apple, recently held a ceremony to mark the completion of its new plant in Phoenix, Arizona.
The $12 billion plant will be the first of its kind in the United States to mass-produce 5nm chips. 5nm process is used in all of Apple’s newer CPUs, including the A14 Bionic and M1 chips. According to a LinkedIn post, TSMC stated:
A lot of progress is being made on our 5-nanometer semiconductor fab in Phoenix (#Arizona) called “FAB 21.” We recently celebrated with our local partners the “topping” milestone of laying the final beam in FAB 21’s fab building. More than 4,000 people attended, including our own employees and business partners. On schedule and on budget, #TSMCArizona is bringing the world’s most cutting-edge semiconductor technology to the United States in 2018. We owe a debt of gratitude to all of our collaborators, and we’re excited about what the future holds for us in Arizona.
TSMC Chairman Mark Liu revealed last year that the Arizona plant would begin mass production in the first quarter of 2024. Nvidia, Qualcomm, and Apple are the most likely customers for the chips manufactured in the Arizona factory. Because of the Arizona facility, Apple’s 5nm bespoke silicon chips may conceivably be made in this country, a first for the company.
Apple is said to be moving to a 3nm technology for its bespoke silicon starting with the M2 Pro or M3 chip. The A16 chip in the iPhone 14 Pro is projected to be built on a 5nm process, therefore it is quite likely that Apple will still require a supply of 5nm chips from TSMC by early 2024 when the Arizona factory starts for mass-production.
TSMC’s primary production facilities are in Taiwan, but the company also has a plant in Camas, Washington, as well as design centers in Austin, Texas, and San Jose, California; hence, the Arizona facility will be TSMC’s second manufacturing location in the United States. Yesterday, it was revealed that Apple is constructing a new development facility in Israel to develop unique silicon processors for the Mac.