U.S. Commerce Secretary To Attend Ceremony At TSMC’s New $12 Billion Chip Plant In Arizona On Dec. 6; Biden Invited

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo will attend a ceremony on Dec. 6 to mark the installation of equipment at a new $12 billion semiconductor facility in Arizona being built by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing, better known as TSMC, Taiwan media reported today, citing former chairman Morris Chang.

President Joe Biden has been invited but hasn’t confirmed, Chang said at a press conference on Monday in Taipei following his return from the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Thailand where he represented Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen, the Central News Agency reported.

The investment comes amid a U.S. push to boost domestic supplies of semiconductors. Congressional passage of the $52 billion CHIPS and Science Act this year is helping to attract U.S. investment from the likes of Intel, Samsung and GlobalFoundries. Taiwan is a global leader in the supply of advanced chips but has faced increased military tension this year from Beijing, which claims sovereignty over the self-ruled, democratic, high-tech hub of 24 million people. The U.S. last month announced limits on sales of chipmaking equipment and chips to mainland China.

TSMC offers specialized factory services to customers, and, with a market capitalization of more than $400 billion, is one of the world’s most valuable chip companies. Chang, a 91-year-old American citizen lauded by Forbes in 2017 as one of the world’s great living business minds, is worth $2.1 billion on the Forbes Real-Time Billionaires List today. Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway recently bought more than $4 billion of shares in TSMC.

Among other Taiwan technology companies to announce U.S. investment plans, GlobalWafers, a Taiwan-headquartered supplier of wafers to the semiconductor industry, will break ground on an up to $5 billion facility in Texas on Dec. 1; it will be the first wafer plant built in the U.S. in two decades. (See related post here.) MediaTek this year announced plans to set up a design center with Purdue University in Indiana.

Chang earlier this year expressed skepticism over the potential success of the Arizona plant because of high costs in the U.S. and the potential lack of suitable workers, CNA said.

“When asked about those concerns Saturday, Chang doubled down, emphasizing that he ‘not only believes but knows’ costs in the U.S. will be about 55% higher than in Taiwan,” CNA said.

Chang confirmed on Monday that TSMC, a supplier to Apple and Nvidia among other leading U.S. tech businesses, plans to bring its currently leading edge three nanometer (one billionth of a meter) process technology to Arizona, advancing beyond the five nanometer technology it will deploy in the first phase of production scheduled to start in 2024, CNA said.

See related posts:

Asia Power Businesswomen Talks About GlobalWafer’s New $5 Bln Plant in U.S.

Ageless And Peerless In An Age Of Fabless

Taiwan Billionaire Bank Worried But Not Scared About Strained Ties With Mainland China

Taiwan Banks Cut Loans In China Amid Slow Economic Growth, Military Tension


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