TSMC to build Arizona chip plant

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Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company has announced plans to build a $12 billion factory in Arizona.

The construction of the fab is set to begin in 2024. First silicon is scheduled for 2024 and the facility, which will employ 1600 people, will be able to process up to 20,000 silicon wafers per month.

The announcement is being seen as a 'win' for President Trump who has pledged to bring manufacturing back from overseas. Signs of a deep recession, due to the coronavirus, is also driving the US government to end US production and supply chain dependency on China.

The news of TSMC's decision comes as Trump has stepped up criticism of Chinese trade practices and Beijing’s handling of the novel coronavirus ahead of the Nov. 3 U.S. presidential election.

TSMC, a major supplier to the likes of Apple and Qualcomm, said that the investment was, "Of critical, strategic importance to a vibrant and competitive U.S. semiconductor ecosystem that enables leading U.S. companies to fabricate their cutting-edge semiconductor products within the United States.”

The plant, the biggest foreign investment by TSMC, will produce sophisticated 5nm chips, which can be used in high-end defence and communications devices.

Currently, TSMC manufactures the bulk of its chips in Taiwan and has older chip facilities in China and Washington state