American manufacturing is back. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited (TSMC, also called Taiwan Semiconductor), a Taiwanese multinational semiconductor contract manufacturing and design company, is building two chip factories in Arizona in the United States of America.
You read that right: for the first time in over a decade, semiconductor chips will be manufactured on US soil. That is great news for everyone who is an advocate of made-in-America chips, cell phones, cars, and everything else. It is about time we folded our sleeves and got back in the game.
TSMC is investing $20 billion in the first of the new chip plants being built in Phoenix, Arizona. It will start production in 2024. Apple has said that they will use made-in-America chips from these plants in their products. Other technology companies that have committed to patronise TSMC’s American products include AMD and Nvidia. Construction of the second made-in-America chip factory will start in 2023 and it will go on stream in 2026 and produce 3nm chips.
TSMC is a dedicated foundry, meaning it builds the chips designed by other companies. Apple, AMD, and Nvidia are among its largest customers, and even Intel relies on TSMC to make the most advanced processors.
A Made-in-America Chips Revival Is Here
Manufacturing computer and cell phone processors on American soil is not the same as making PCs and phones in America, but it is a crucial first step. Once there is a supply of critical components, full-scale local manufacturing is inevitable. And it looks like that will happen soon. American-made cell phones might not be so far away in the future.
Intel is America’s biggest chipmaker and has its largest manufacturing site in Phoenix. It is looking to invest $20 billion to expand that facility by 2024. It also has plans to build a massive plant in Ohio. That plant is expected to start production in 2025. Another chip-maker, Micron, says that it will spend up to $100 billion on a facility in New York. Samsung says it is investing $17 billion in Austin, Texas.
The US government is launching a “Chips for America” program in 2023, to support companies that are interested in local production of chips. Several chip manufacturers have expressed interest in applying for funding through this program.