TSMC Will Decide To Build U.S. Fab Next Year, According To Spokesman; Plant Estimated At $16 Billion


A lot might change for the tech industry in the near future. Donald Trump's election as U.S. president has left a lot of companies double minded. At one end, they're pressured to move manufacturing facilities to the United States - at the other, the decision is simply economically unfeasible. Out of all the companies, it's Apple which has faced the most pressure to move iPhone production back to the States. Today, we've got more details on the matter.

TSMC Will Decide On Whether To Build Plant In The U.S. Or Not Next Year, According To Company Spokesperson

Apple and TSMC have had a strong relationship. The Taiwanese fab is a long time supplier for the company's mobile chips. Cupertino's also upped its hardware game significantly, with the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. The pair feature Apple's A10 Fusion processor, a first of its kind with four processing cores. Before the A10, the max Apple went for was three cores, with the A8X for the iPad Air 2. This year, mobile hardware will come into the limelight. It's the year for 10nm processors, as manufacturers all around are succesful in achieving satisfactory yields for the process.

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Today, TSMC spokesman, Michael Kramer has commented on the possibility of the company's manufacturing plant right here in the United States. The fab is rumored to consider such a decision, like all of Apple suppliers. Foxconn wants to build an appliance manufacturing plant here and Pegatron wants Apple to bear all the costs of such a move should it take place.

"We won't make a decision until next year. We would sacrifice some benefits if we move to the States. But we have flexibility in Taiwan. If an earthquake happened for instance (in Taiwan), we could send thousands of people here as support, whereas it's harder in the States," he told Reuters. The Taiwanese media speculated earlier that TSMC will make its decision in the first half of 2018. The report also suggested a figure of $16.41 billion for the investment.

Should the fab decide to build its plant, the results won't surface for at least another year and a half. By then, we'll have 7nm+ chips out, so expect the landscape to be completely different. The biggest factor around shifting to the United States is a dearth of labor in the country. It's a fact that Mr. Kramer also mentions in his statements.

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