TSMC’s U.S. factory will build a pilot production line, Small batch trial production will be launched in 2024Q1
At present, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) is in the throes of constructing their novel Fab21 wafer factory in the sun-drenched climes of Arizona, USA. Initially, the maiden phase of the production line was projected to be operational by 2024, wielding the esteemed N4 and N5 series processes. However, owing to a dearth of specialized personnel to facilitate the installation of semiconductor equipment, the commencement of Fab21’s mass production may be deferred to 2025—a delay approximating a year.
Despite the setbacks encumbering the project’s timeline, TSMC remains buoyantly optimistic, diligently navigating the myriad challenges encountered. As delineated by Money DJ, to ensure the seamless initiation of the nascent wafer factory and to satiate a fraction of the demand, TSMC contemplates the establishment of a modest pilot production line, with aspirations to commence chip manufacturing in 2024.
Insiders intimate that this diminutive pilot production line is anticipated to be up and running by the first quarter of 2024, boasting a monthly capacity ranging between 4,000 to 5,000 wafers. TSMC’s strategic pivot, perhaps, is a prudent endeavor to mitigate potential losses ensuing from breaches precipitated by factory delays, especially when certain clienteles’ orders may be explicitly earmarked for completion at Fab21. Given Fab21’s intrinsic design capacity of 20,000 wafers monthly, the scale of the pilot line may appear insubstantial; however, it suffices to cater to the local clientele’s exigencies.
Rumors are rife that tech behemoths—Apple, AMD, and NVIDIA, to name but a few—may contemplate relocating a portion of their orders to TSMC’s wafer factories in disparate regions, thereby sidestepping potential snags in launching new products. Yet, concerns loom large that such an impromptu surge in orders at alternative wafer factories could inadvertently spark unwarranted jostling for production capacity.