TSMC plans advanced chip production in Arizona, says the company’s founder

TAIPEI, Nov 21 (Reuters) – Taiwanese chipmaker TSMC plans to produce chips with advanced 3-nanometer technology at its new factory in the U.S. state of Arizona, but plans are not yet complete, company founder Morris Chang said on Monday.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd ( TSMC ) ( 2330.TW ), a major supplier to Apple Inc ( AAPL.O ) and the world̵[ads1]7;s largest contract chipmaker, is building a $12 billion plant in Arizona.

Last year, Reuters reported TSMC’s plans to build more chip factories in Arizona, including discussions about whether the next facility would be more advanced, able to make chips using 3-nanometer technology compared to the slower, less efficient 5-nanometer chips that will be turned off when the plant starts production.

Chang, who spoke to reporters in Taipei after returning from the APEC summit in Thailand, said the 3-nanometer facility will be located at the same location in Arizona as the 5-nanometer facility.

“Three nanometers, TSMC right now has a plan, but it’s not quite finalized,” said Chang, who has retired from TSMC but remains influential at the company and the broader chip industry.

“It’s almost finished – at the same place in Arizona, phase two. Five nanometers is phase one, 3 nanometers is phase two.”

TSMC, Asia’s most valuable publicly traded company, declined to comment, referring to its statement earlier this month that while it was building a site for a potential second factory in Arizona, it had not reached a final decision.

The company is holding a tool-in ceremony in Arizona on December 6.

Chang said he would attend with TSMC customers and suppliers and US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo.

Chang added that US President Joe Biden has also been invited, but that he did not know if he would go.

Taiwan’s dominant position as a maker of chips used in technology from cellphones and cars to fighter jets has raised concerns that the world is too dependent on the island, especially as China ramps up military pressure to assert its sovereignty claims.

Both the US and Europe are putting up billions in incentives to get companies to make chips closer to home, and Taiwanese firms in particular are following suit.

Chang said people were just waking up to how important chips were.

“There are a lot of jealous people, jealous of Taiwan’s excellent chip manufacturing,” he said. “So there are also many people who, for various reasons, whether it’s for national security or to make money, hope to produce more chips in their countries.”

Chang said in his APEC meetings “many countries asked me, can we go to their country to produce chips?”

He did not say which countries these were.

Reporting by Sarah Wu; Written by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Edmund Klamann, Muralikumar Anantharaman, Gerry Doyle and Louise Heavens

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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