Thursday, March 4th 2021

TSMC Could Build Six GigaFabs in Arizona

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), one of the largest manufacturers of silicon, is seemingly making plans to build as many as six of its US-based fabs in Arizona. According to the unconfirmed report coming from UDN, TSMC could be building its Arizona-based factories for much larger capacities. Based on TSMC's classifications, the MegaFab-class of factories is the one with 25,000 WSPM output. According to the report, TSMC plans to build six additional facilities in the area where the Arizona fab is, and have a GigaFab-class (even larger type) factory present on US soil. Currently, the company operates six GigaFabs and all of them are based in Taiwan.

The GigaFab class factory is supposed to have over 100,000 WSPM output, and by building one in the US, TSMC could get much closer to big customers like Apple, NVIDIA, and AMD. Reports are saying that TSMC's primary target is 3 nm node production on 12-inch (300 mm) wafers. All six of the supposed facilities are expected to output more than 100,000 wafers at their peak, making it one of the largest projects TSMC has ever done. The Arizona location is supposed to serve as a "mega fab" facility and it is supposed to start manufacturing silicon in 2024. This information is, of course, just a rumor so you should take it with a grain of salt, as this type of information is usually only known by top-level management.
Source: UDN (Google Translated to English)
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47 Comments on TSMC Could Build Six GigaFabs in Arizona

#1
Legacy-ZA
Finally, it seems they might have learned, don't put all your eggs in one basket. :roll:
Posted on Reply
#2
Freebird
Hyperbole much???

How do we go from one MEGA FAB with 20K wafers per month for $12B:

"In a big shift to their manufacturing operations – and a big political win domestically – TSMC has announced that the company will be building a new, high-end fab in Arizona. The facility, set to come online in 2024, will utilize TSMC’s soon-to-be-deployed 5nm process, with the ability to handle 20,000 wafers a month. And with a final price tag on the facility expected to be $12 billion, this would make it one of the most expensive fabs ever built in the United States."
www.anandtech.com/show/15803/tsmc-build-5nm-fab-in-arizona-for-2024

TO SIX GIGA FABs with 100K wafers each??? You do realize that would probably be over $100B(US) in cost and requires probably the entire Phoenix water supply, right?

BTW, they only have 3 GIGA FABS now with one more ramping up (FAB 18).
www.tsmc.com/english/dedicatedFoundry/manufacturing/gigafab


They may eventually build SIX BUILDINGS at the site in Arizona with a total output of 100K+ wafer/month, but not SIX GIGA FABS...

NOWHERE in the UDN article does it mention SIX GIGA FABS, like the title of your article states...

EDIT: Maybe you should add a link to the SOURCE so readers can read and decide for themselves. (use Chrome & auto translate)
udn.com/news/story/7240/5284669
Posted on Reply
#4
DeathtoGnomes
WSPM, can assume this means WaferS Per Month? :p
Posted on Reply
#6
ixi
Legacy-ZA
Finally, it seems they might have learned, don't put all your eggs in one basket. :roll:
Not really, if they gonna build 6 fabs in 5 years. All other competition is lost automatically.

TMSC le true king.
Posted on Reply
#7
TheinsanegamerN
I know the southwest is desireable due to the dry air, but they do know the great lakes region has both an abundant water supply and cheap nuclear energy right?
Posted on Reply
#8
mechtech
Arizona??!!!

Wasn't there a new article not long ago about water issues??

How about Quebec Canada, tons of cheap hydro and tons of water, and a stable Canadian shield, so not really any earthquakes, floods, droughts, etc. etc.
Posted on Reply
#9
Jack1n
mechtech
Arizona??!!!

Wasn't there a new article not long ago about water issues??

How about Quebec Canada, tons of cheap hydro and tons of water, and a stable Canadian shield, so not really any earthquakes, floods, droughts, etc. etc.
And pay more taxes, more to transport it down to the biggest consumer market and not to mention tariffs if USMCA is ever canceled? Oh and not nearly the same amount of skilled labor.
Posted on Reply
#10
mechtech
Jack1n
And pay more taxes, more to transport it down to the biggest consumer market and not to mention tariffs if USMCA is ever canceled? Oh and not nearly the same amount of skilled labor.
Well it gets transported from Taiwan right now, Quebec is a lot closer than that. GF foundry in NY isn't far from Quebec either, transportation isn't an issue. Taxes maybe, Labour, well same issue would exist for any new fab anywhere, no?
Posted on Reply
#11
Jack1n
mechtech
Well it gets transported from Taiwan right now, Quebec is a lot closer than that. GF foundry in NY isn't far from Quebec either, transportation isn't an issue. Taxes maybe, Labour, well same issue would exist for any new fab anywhere, no?
A lot easier to attract workforce to an English speaking region. Besides, the whole water shortage thing was blown way out of proportion.
Posted on Reply
#12
TheinsanegamerN
Jack1n
A lot easier to attract workforce to an English speaking region. Besides, the whole water shortage thing was blown way out of proportion.
That and TSMC is no stranger to water shortages, Taiwan deals with them regularly.
Posted on Reply
#13
sam_86314
P4-630

mechtech
Arizona??!!!

Wasn't there a new article not long ago about water issues??
Maybe this isn't a problem in my area, but I haven't heard anything about water shortages. I mean, my local reservoirs are low, but they're pretty much always like that except during monsoon season.

We actually got a decent amount of rain last night here in northcentral Arizona. Maybe it's different down in Phoenix; where these fabs are likely to be built.
Posted on Reply
#14
Nater
For that kind of money, and with what money they're making, they'll truck in water or build a pipeline to the nearest source.

I'm sure some Karen will ruin it somehow, and it'll all never happen.

It will be a beautiful thing to get out of the shadow of China.
Posted on Reply
#15
Legacy-ZA
ixi
Not really, if they gonna build 6 fabs in 5 years. All other competition is lost automatically.

TMSC le true king.
So, I guess natural disasters & political interference etc. all focused on one area is a good thing? Yeah no, this might take time, but it's a GOOD thing. It will even create more jobs for the host country, improving employment and exports, a better economy.
Posted on Reply
#16
mechtech
Jack1n
A lot easier to attract workforce to an English speaking region. Besides, the whole water shortage thing was blown way out of proportion.
Montreal QC is basically bilingual. I live in Ontario and even though QC is a French province many people know and speak English for those very reasons.
Posted on Reply
#17
ixi
mechtech
Arizona??!!!

Wasn't there a new article not long ago about water issues??

How about Quebec Canada, tons of cheap hydro and tons of water, and a stable Canadian shield, so not really any earthquakes, floods, droughts, etc. etc.
Latvia > Canada. Tons of water, tons of workers, tons of no eartquakes, tons of no dangerous animals, tons of good investment.

Jokes aside. Personally don't care where they build it, i need supply!
Posted on Reply
#18
TechLurker
Seems like a bit of a stretch, especially the GigaFab bit, and 6 of them no less. The original, official plan was just 1 Fab producing 20k 5nm wafers just to avoid future potential sanctions and set in Arizona instead of some other location thanks to politics. Also so that they can start applying for DoD contracts that mandate Made in the USA. They will be competing directly against Intel, who also has a major fab in Arizona on headhunting talent and is one of the few DoD certified suppliers.

I feel something was lost in translation. Maybe it meant that TSMC eventually has plans to expand the regular fab site into eventually hosting 6 of them, giving them the general output of 1 GigaFab + an extra 20k. I could see some value in that, esp. if the site remains a pure production one (as opposed to a Node Research site, like TSMC's main facilities). Rather than building 1 GigaFab and limiting themselves to one node, they could have 6 20k wafer fabs that can be upgraded in rotation, ensuring a steady 100k wafer supply even if one of the 6 fabs shuts down for upgrade to a new node. The upgrading of the Fabs to 3nm this early makes sense if TSMC's 3nm is already looking to be mature enough when it comes time to order and install the machines themselves.

Also, the only other way this could somehow come about, whether it's 6 GigaFabs (600k wafers) or just 6 Fabs (120k wafers), is if the bill was further footed with additional deals. Intel looks to be wanting to partner on shared IP development of next-gen leading nodes since they cannot innovate on their own, so I could see Intel funding one or two 20k fabs at least if they were guaranteed half the allotment for a set period of time (until they can ramp up their own internal fabs to match). AMD too might be willing to help fund one 20k fab if it guarantees full allotment of the 20k wafers to them. NVIDIA too, for the same reasons as AMD, could help sponsor 1-2 fabs if the allotment is secured for their own production. The only one that I feel would actually be unlikely is Apple; they want the bleeding edge, and TSMC Arizona is not going to be chasing that edge, only TSMC Taiwan, which do have their leading node R&D and continuously update one of their fabs for the newest nodes.

But the biggest issue to having fab sponsors is that by the time they're built, TSMC is likely to have already moved on to another node, whether it's 2nm, 1nm, sub-1nm, or some reset of the node names. Of those, only AMD and maybe Intel would benefit from "old" 3nm nodes, as both are shifting to chiplet style production and design and still produce products on older nodes (AMD with Polaris and I/O dies on GloFo's 14nm and 12nm). Nvidia doesn't like producing old hardware unless absolutely necessary, so 3nm might not still be viable for them by the time such a fab comes into operation.
Posted on Reply
#19
mechtech
ixi
Latvia > Canada. Tons of water, tons of workers, tons of no eartquakes, tons of no dangerous animals, tons of good investment.

Jokes aside. Personally don't care where they build it, i need supply!
lol

Yes tons of mosquitos here, well in the summer anyway, very dangerous animals lol

Supply - Agreed
Posted on Reply
#20
Jack1n
mechtech
Montreal QC is basically bilingual. I live in Ontario and even though QC is a French province many people know and speak English for those very reasons.
Bilingual? I still remember an English speaking woman from Quebec asking Trudeau about services not being available in English in the province and he answered in French...
Posted on Reply
#21
TheLostSwede
P4-630

Except those aren't wafers, they're stroopwafles, which have a sticky filling.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stroopwafel
mechtech
Montreal QC is basically bilingual. I live in Ontario and even though QC is a French province many people know and speak English for those very reasons.
And there are plenty of Chinese speakers too... Or is that the west coast?
ixi
Latvia > Canada. Tons of water, tons of workers, tons of no eartquakes, tons of no dangerous animals, tons of good investment.

Jokes aside. Personally don't care where they build it, i need supply!
You guys good at Mandarin?
bummpr
Before anyone gets too excited, just Google "Foxconn Wisconsin disaster" for how this story could unfold.

Taxpayers and homeowners were bilked for billions of $$$ and thousands of promised jobs while naive former Governor and former President suffered muscle sprains patting themselves on the back.
TSMC ≠ Foxconn.
Very, very different management and ways of doing business.
Posted on Reply
#22
P4-630
TheLostSwede
Except those aren't wafers, they're stroopwafles, which have a sticky filling.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stroopwafel
I know that , they are made in my country (NL) :D
I got some in the kitchen, only these ones are filled with honey.
Posted on Reply
#23
Wirko
TheLostSwede
which have a sticky filling.
Described in more general terms, "glue".
Posted on Reply
#24
TheLostSwede
P4-630
I know that , they are made in my country (NL) :D
I got some in the kitchen, only these ones are filled with honey.
Isn't that called a bait and switch?
Posted on Reply
#25
Wirko
TechLurker
The upgrading of the Fabs to 3nm this early makes sense if TSMC's 3nm is already looking to be mature enough when it comes time to order and install the machines themselves.
Lithography scanners have most certainly been ordered by now. ASML is drowned in backorders.
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