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Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited (TMSC), the Taiwanese chipmaker that runs the plant, announced that it plans to triple its planned investment in the region and will build a second semiconductor manufacturing plant there by 2026. The current facility produces 5- and 4-nanometer chips, and the new one will make 3-nanometer chips by 2026, the most advanced chips on the market.
TSMC’s investment in the two Arizona facilities will total some $40 billion, making it the company’s largest investment outside of Taiwan, and one of the largest direct investments by a foreign power in U.S. history.
“American manufacturing is back, folks,” Biden said.
“The United States is better postitioned than any other nation to lead the world economy in the years ahead if we keep our focus.”
The investment is hoped to help alleviate supply-chain issues which disrupted the U.S. economy for the better part of Biden’s first two years in office. As such, Biden connected the facility to the bipartisan Chips and Science Act, which included $52 billion in corporate subsidies for the construction of new semiconductor manufacturing plants in the United States.
That investment he said, and TSMC’s subsequent development in Arizona, would help the United States reclaim its place as a world leader in manufacturing.
“These are the most advanced semiconductor chips on the planet,” Biden said, noting that they are a game changer for most tech as they reduce power consumption by almost half and improve performance.
“Where is it written that America can’t lead the world once again in manufacturing?”
TSMC founder Morris Chang joined Biden for the “tool-in” ceremony, a symbolic moving of the first equipment onto the shop floor of the new facility, which is scheduled to be operational in 2024.
“TSMC is taking a giant step forward to help build a vibrant semiconductor ecosystem in the United States,” Chang said.
Biden was also joined at the event by Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, and Governor-elect Katie Hobbs, as well as the heads of major tech companies including AMD, Apple, Micron, and NVIDIA.
The U.S. administration has made boosting American manufacturing a key plank of its plan to counter the Chinese regime’s growing technological and economic might, much of which has been channeled to strengthen Beijing’s military.
The Biden administration also took the unprecedented step in October of blocking exports of advanced chips to China, going so far as to disallow foreign buyers of chips made with American research from purchasing them if their end users would be in China. The move came amid fears that China’s communist regime could use advanced chips to hasten its development of artificial intelligence and weapons platforms.
National Economic Council Director Brian Deese said that the ceremony was important in establishing the United States as a leader in innovation and ensuring supply chain security.
“This is about more than just one groundbreaking,” Deese told reporters on Air Force One en route to Phoenix. “[It’s about] how we build out this innovation ecosystem for semiconductors in the United States.”
“The occasion for the president’s travel is to mark a significant milestone that TSMC is reaching in bringing the most advanced semiconductor manufacturing back to the U.S.”
TSMC is the world’s largest manufacturer of semiconductors, and the company alone accounts for some 28 percent of the global semiconductor market. For comparison, total U.S. semiconductor production accounts for just 12 percent.
“It’s been a rough few years for working Americans and businesses as well,” Biden said.
“We’re all in this together and that’s what today is all about.”
“I’ve never been more optimistic about America’s future.”
Reuters contributed to this report.
By Andrew Thornebrooke