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iPhones, made in the USA? Apple chipmaker TSMC eyes U.S. factory

The Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), the chip manufacturer which produces Apple’s A-series chips, has announced it will build a new factory in the U.S. It will spend $12 billion over the next eight years to create an “advanced semiconductor fab” in Arizona.

TSMC says that the facility will “utilize TSMC’s 5-nanometer technology for semiconductor wafer fabrication” and that it will have the capacity to produce up to 20,000 semiconductor wafers per month.

The company also says that it will create over 1,600 professional jobs, in addition to thousands of indirect jobs related to semiconductors. Construction of the factory will begin next year and is scheduled to run until  2029.

This news comes a few days after reports that the Trump administration was hoping to persuade both TSMC and fellow chip manufacturer Intel to bring production to the U.S. The administration is reportedly concerned about relying on overseas manufacturers, especially those in China and other parts of Asia, for the supply of important processors. With the coronavirus pandemic affecting global supply chains, the need for locally available electronics components has become more pressing.

The company already operates a factory in Camas, Washington, in addition to two design centers in Austin, Texas, and San Jose, California, making the planned factory the company’s second manufacturing site in the U.S.

TSMC was positive about the further opportunities for business in the U.S., saying in a statement, “TSMC welcomes continued strong partnership with the U.S. administration and the State of Arizona on this project. This project will require significant capital and technology investments from TSMC.

“The strong investment climate in the United States, and its talented workforce make this and future investments in the U.S. attractive to TSMC. U.S. adoption of forward-looking investment policies to enable a globally competitive environment for a leading-edge semiconductor technology operation in the U.S. will be crucial to the success of this project. It will also give us the confidence this and other future investments by TSMC and its supply chain companies will be successful.”

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