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TSMC Seeking Huge Subsidies From US Government for New Arizona Plant

Apple’s A-series chipmaking partner TSMC’s plans for a plant to be built in Arizona are said to be in doubt as the chipmaker says it is seeking substantial subsidies from the U.S. government if it continues to proceed with its plans.

Reuters reports TSMC is looking for the U.S. government to completely cover the difference in operating costs between Taiwan and the United States. The news comes via a brief statement made by the company’s chairman.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC) is still in talks with the U.S. government about subsidies for its new plant in Arizona, chairman Mark Liu said on Tuesday.

“We hope federal and state governments could make up TSMC’s running costs difference between the United States and Taiwan,” Liu told reporters.

This may be a sticking point, as the plant would be largely automated, creating only a very limited number of jobs.

TSMC first announced plans to build the plant in Arizona last month. Questions were quickly raised by three U.S. senators about financial incentives, and whether the incentives would give TSMC an unfair advantage over U.S. chipmakers, including Micron, GlobalFoundries, and Cree.

The facility is expected to turn out approximately 20,000 chips per month using TSMC’s latest 5-nanometer fabrication process. The facility is expected to create over 1,600 high-tech professional jobs directly, and thousands of indirect jobs in the semiconductor ecosystem. However, claims that the plant would create 1,600 US jobs have also been questioned.

TSMC’s total spending on the project, including capital expenditure, will be approximately $12 billion USD from 2021 to 2029.

In the United States, TSMC currently operates a fabrication factory in Camas, Washington, and has design centers in both Austin, Texas, and San Jose, California. The Arizona facility would be TSMC’s second manufacturing site in the United States.