TSMC’s $35bn (€29bn) plan for six fabs would triple the cost of the previously announced project and take the eventual monthly manufacturing capacity to 100,000 wafers. Docements from the City of Phoenix show that TSMC plans three phases of building.
The build-out would likely to take several years and may be accelerated, slowed or stopped depending on economic and political circumstances.
The Gigafab plan was shared with Taiwanese employees as TSMC begins looking for workers that are prepared to come and work in the US, according to the report in Taiwan. Apparently TSMC is prepared to double workers’ salaries to persuade them to help staff up the US operation.
The company previously only said that it plans to build a 300mm wafer fab in Arizona with a project investment budget of US$12bn. Construction is due to begin in 2021 with mass-production of chips on 5nm manufacturing process in 2024, which will no longer be a leading-edge production process by then. The monthly production would ramp up to 20,000 wafers in that fab.
The development would be in line with US political policy to bring key manufacturing capability back to the country for reasons of geopolitical strategy. Europe is following a similar strategy but has yet to persuade global suppliers of leading edge, sub-10nm manufacturing capacity to set up in the region.
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