Apple A-series and M-series chipmaker TSMC has pushed back the move-in date for its Arizona plant in the United States from September 2022 to March 2023. Reportedly, multiple factors are affecting construction including labor shortages and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Construction for TSMC’s Arizona plant is six months behind schedule
Construction for TSMC’s chip plant in the United States began in June 2021 and the company had hoped it would be ready to receive chip production hardware in September of 2022. But the timeline has been pushed back by six months according to sources speaking with Nikkei Asia.
Construction of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.’s first advanced chip plant in the U.S. is three to six months behind schedule, sources told Nikkei Asia, a sign that the world’s biggest contract chipmaker is finding it more challenging to expand overseas than at home.
“It’s generally taking longer to build a chip plant because of the pandemic and all the other supply chain disruptions,” said Arisa Liu, a veteran semiconductor analyst with the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research. “TSMC will have to negotiate details for subsidy packages with governments and also learn local regulations and apply for all kinds of licenses in a foreign destination.”
Once completed, the factory will be TSMC’s most advanced plant outside of its home country. Usually, it takes these factories about 12 to 15 months to get up and running. However, the challenges presented in building in a foreign country are lengthening the process.
The chipmaker is trying to pin down a timeline for getting production hardware in place so it can start planning production timelines. The company produces chips for Apple’s iPhone 13 lineup and will continue to do so for the upcoming iPhone 13 models. Currently, the southern Taiwanese city of Tainan produces Apple’s higher-end iPhone chips and will do so until more plants are in working order.
Despite recent challenges, TSMC expects to start production in early 2024. The timeline for installing and testing equipment will be shorter but production should begin as scheduled.