Nikkei: TSMC’s Arizona plant will be delayed up to 6 months

According to the latest report from the “Japan Asian Review”, sources pointed out that the construction schedule of TSMC’s 5-nanometer fab in Arizona has been delayed, compared with the original plan, which will be delayed by 3 to 6 months. It means that the expansion of the world’s largest wafer foundry overseas will be more difficult than in Taiwan.

The report pointed out that several people familiar with the matter pointed out that TSMC originally planned to enter production facilities in September 2022. However, TSMC has notified suppliers a few days ago that it will delay the time to enter the equipment until February or March 2023. As for the main reason for TSMC’s lagging schedule, in addition to the continuous outbreak of the epidemic in the United States, which has caused a shortage of local labor, related buildings must pass different types of complex regulations. In contrast, in the past, TSMC’s plan to build a new plant in Taiwan usually only takes 15 months to enter production equipment, and sometimes it can even be as early as 12 months.

The report emphasized that the entry of production equipment is regarded as a milestone in the construction schedule of the new fab, and it also represents how long it will take for the new fab to enter mass production. Because usually after the equipment is stationed, the relevant personnel must spend a year to adjust, and finally, after reaching the standard, it finally officially enters the stage of mass production and gradually improves the yield rate. Therefore, in response to the current delay, TSMC is trying to remedy its delay, hoping to enter the stage of production equipment in 2022 according to the original schedule.

However, in response to the delayed entry of equipment at the Arizona plant, people familiar with the matter emphasized that this not only means that TSMC will delay the mass production time of the plant. Because TSMC’s original schedule will have a buffer period of its own, and TSMC has previously stated that the factory expects the official mass production time to be in the first quarter of 2024. For related reports, TSMC responded that the project is currently on schedule, and its production plan has also remained unchanged.

In addition, the report also quoted market sources as saying that due to the epidemic, the supply chain of related factories is facing disruption, and that it usually takes longer to set up factories overseas than domestic factories. Delays at TSMC’s Arizona plant. In addition, TSMC also has to negotiate the details of the subsidy program with government units when setting up a local factory in the United States, learn local regulations, and apply for various licenses abroad. These factors will also make the learning curve longer than building a factory in Taiwan. long.

And, to make matters worse, there’s currently a lot of competition in Arizona for all kinds of tech hires. That includes competition from processor leader Intel, which has forged long-term relationships with state and local governments and communities during its 40-year local presence. Combined with Intel’s plans to spend $20 billion to expand its production line in Chandler, Arizona, which is only 50 kilometers away from TSMC’s soon-to-be-completed fab, Intel has already hired about After 12,000 technical employees, it plans to hire about 3,000 more employees to meet the needs of expansion, which also puts pressure on TSMC to hire technical employees locally.

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