TSMC is reportedly looking to build six plants in Arizona, United States in order to achieve the Mega-Site/Mega-Fab target. The Arizona plant area is expected to be twice as large as all of TSMC’s Southern Branch plants, with a total investment of close to NT$1 trillion.
Upon full operation, TSMC’s Arizona plants will produce as many as 100,000 12-inch wafers per month, making it the most advanced foundry in the United States, ahead of arch-rival Samsung. Officially, TSMC had announced earlier in May last year that it will be building a new 12-inch foundry in Arizona with an overall investment of US$12 billion. Looking at the new estimates, it’d be fair to say that the scope of the project has grown significantly ever since it was initially taken up.
The construction of the Arizona fab is slated to start this year, with a target to kick start production in 2024. The foundry is expected to produce 5nm (EUV) wafers in its first year of function with a starting monthly production capacity of 20,000 wafers.
The on-going US-China trade war was one of the primary factors behind the setting up of an advanced foundry in Arizona. TSMC is expected to expand its chip orders from US-based firms, all the while appeasing conservatives and liberals alike.
However, not all the positions in the Arizona fab will be held by local employees. TSMC is launching a plan for established, veteran engineers to work in the US. The salary for the same posts is expected to be twice the normal figure, among other benefits.