In a one-two punch aimed at China’s rising technological prowess, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), the world’s leading contract manufacturer of chips, said it would build a manufacturing plant in the US and the White House announced new rules to block Huawei’s access to such cutting-edge components.
TSMC said Friday that it plans to spend $12 billion to build a next-generation manufacturing plant in Arizona with unspecified “support” from the state and from the US government. It said the plant would be capable of making chips using a new 5-nanometer process, with the first commercial batch being produced in 2024. A nanometer is a billionth of a meter, and manufacturing at this scale involves atomic-scale manipulation. TSMC said the plant would produce 20,000 semiconductor wafers per month and create more than 1,600 high-tech jobs.