TSMC announced a $12 billion investment in a 5nm plant in the U.S., but will that work?

TSMC is going to build a factory in the United States. In the early hours of this morning (May 15), TSMC officially announced on its website that it plans to build and operate an advanced fab in the United States, with the mutual understanding and commitment of the Federal Government of the United States and Arizona. Even more striking is the $12 billion tsat nto plans to invest in the U.S. plant.

TSMC announced a $12 billion investment in a 5nm plant in the U.S., but will that work?

12 billion U.S. plants with 5nm process layout

Take a look at this investment plan for more information.

According to TSMC’s official website, the plant will be based in Arizona, USA, and will use TSMC’s 5 nm process technology to produce semiconductor wafers with a planned monthly production capacity of 20,000 wafers.

In terms of employment, the plant will directly create more than 1,600 high-tech professional jobs and indirectly create thousands of jobs in the semiconductor industry ecosystem.

In terms of specific plant plans, the fab will commence construction in 2021 and will begin mass production of wafers in 2024.

Under TSMC’s plan, TSMC will spend approximately $12 billion on this program, including capital expenditure, between 2021 and 2029.

On this investment plan, TSMC said that this advanced fab will not only enable TSMC to provide better services to customers and partners, but also provide TSMC with more opportunities to attract global talent.

Customers here, of course, include TSMC’s biggest customer, Apple, which has long been a contract for Apple’s A-Series SoC processors.

TSMC also said the decision was made in the U.S. investment environment and talent, as well as the U.S. forward-looking investment policy.

At present, TSMC has a fab in Kamas, Washington, USA, and a design center in Austin, Texas, and San Jose, California.

In other words, the plan, based in Arizona, will be TSMC’s second production facility in the United States.

The world’s leading leader in wafer foundry

TSMC is currently the world’s largest wafer generation industry and commerce.

According to the 2020 Q1 Global Wafer Foundry Revenue Ranking situed by Jibang Consulting’s Toulon Industrial Research Institute, TSMC ranked first, with a market share of 54.1%, surpassing half of the total.

TSMC announced a $12 billion investment in a 5nm plant in the U.S., but will that work?

In second place were Samsung and Global Foundries, with a market share of 15.9% and 7.7%, respectively.

Among them, the first-ranked TSMC 7 nm node benefits from customer pre-ordercapacity, order status is stable, and there is follow-up order demand, capacity utilization capacity is full.

This shows that TSMC in the global wafer foundry field of the leading position.

In this context, TSMC’s $12 billion investment in the U.S. semiconductor industry deserves close attention.

In fact, a few days ago, there were media reports that the U.S. government was in talks with major chipmakers such as Intel and TSMC about building chip factories in the U.S.

The U.S. government’s move is aimed at lowering expectations for Asian chip supplies,media reported.

After the report was published, Taiwanese media reported that TSMC had rejected the U.S. government and would not set up a new fab in the U.S. mainland.

But now TSMC’s movements prove that it still chooses to go to the arms of the United States.

It is worth mentioning that, before, TSMC Chairman Liu Deyin once suggested that the establishment of a plant in the United States depends on three conditions: economic impact, cost advantage, personnel and supply chain to be complete.

A victory for Trump?

In response to TSMC’s investment plan, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross responded:

This is yet another sign that President Trump’s policy agenda has led to a revival of American manufacturing and made the United States the world’s most attractive place to invest, as a result of years of close cooperation between TSMC, the governor of Arizona and his staff, the government, and in particular our assistant commerce secretary, Ian Steff.

On the social media platform, there are also a number of American netizens commented:

It was a victory for Trump.

TSMC announced a $12 billion investment in a 5nm plant in the U.S., but will that work?

Others have commented on Twitter that TSMC’s commitment is also a victory for National Security.

All of these comments are political, but if you look at the financial aspects of TSMC’s own development, you can see why.

In fact, according to TSMC’s 2019 annual report released in April 2020, its largest customer is Apple, which accounts for 23% of TSMC’s revenue, while customers from the United States account for about 59% of TSMC’s total revenue in 2019.

By contrast, revenue from mainland China accounts for about 19% of TSMC’s total revenue in 2019.

From this point of view, TSMC’s choice to build a plant in the United States must also have market relations and economic interests.

In addition, from a technical point of view, TSMC chose to use a 5nm process process in this announced U.S. plant, while the more advanced 2nm/3nm process remains in Taiwan.

As things stand, TSMC’s 7nm is mature, and the 5nm process will be mass-produced this year, mainly for Apple’s A14 processorand and Huawei’s Kirin 1000 processor.

By 2021-2022, TSMC’s 5nm and enhanced 5nm process will be available to more vendors, including Qualcomm SnapDragon 875, SnapDragon X60 Modem, MediaTek Sky2000, and processors from amds.

Of course, for TSMC, although a $12 billion investment line has been announced, construction will not begin until next year, with the earliest production date in 2024.

In the case of the Japanese side, whether there are variables is not known.