Apple has convinced its long-term semiconductor partner, Taiwanese Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) to manufacture chips built on an advanced 4nm process at its Arizona factory when it will be operational in 2024.
TMSC is the world’s leading foundry that manufactures semiconductors for a diverse range of electronics from smartphones to automobiles. Apple is its biggest client for processing chips for iPhone, iPad, Mac, and other devices.
In 2020, TSMC announced its $100 billion investment plan to expand its production footprint in various regions outside Taiwan including the United States. The manufacturer began construction of its $12 billion fab in Arizona in June 2021 with the aim to begin production of 5nm chips in 2024.
Apple to use one-third of 4nm chips manufactured at TSMC’s Arizona fab
According to Bloomberg, TSMC will announce the new shift from using 5nm tech to 4nm tech at its new Arizona plant next week, when President Joe Biden and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo will visit Phoenix. Apple is expected to procure one-third of the 20,000 wafers per month output at the plant.
TSMC previously said it would make 20,000 wafers per month at the Arizona facility, although production may increase from those original plans, the people said. Apple will use about a third of the output as production gets underway.
The report also corroborates a previous claim that TSMC was planning to construct a second plant in Arizona also worth $12 billion which will make even more advanced 3nm chips.
The expansion of TSMC’s production hub in the U.S. is considered a win for President Biden’s efforts to boost the domestic semiconductor industry.
TSMC, headquartered on the island, is the world’s go-to supplier for chips powering everything from smartphones to electric vehicles. Most of its production is still centralized in Taiwan.
It is also reported that although the manufacturer agreed to make more sophisticated chips at the new Arizona plant at the request of its big clients like Apple, Nvidia Corp, and Micro Devices Inc., it did not agree to launch new tech simultaneously in the U.S. and Taiwan.
Customers have asked the company to roll out its latest technologies simultaneously in the US and Taiwan, the people said, which would help fulfill a Biden administration goal of having the most cutting-edge chips in the world produced on US soil. But TSMC has not committed to that approach, and Taiwanese and company officials have said that they intend to keep the latest technology at home.