US President Joe Biden will visit Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company’s Arizona plant on Tuesday for a “tool-in” ceremony at the $12 billion facility.
The ceremony is the symbolic moving of the first equipment onto the shop floor of the new plant which is scheduled to be operational by 2024.
Biden’s visit follows the Taiwanese chipmaker’s move to more than triple its planned investment in the factory to $40 billion. This would be the company’s largest investment outside of Taiwan, and one of the largest foreign direct investments in US history.
TSMC executives will announce a plan to build a second nearby facility that will produce advanced chips by 2026.
The company will reveal its second plant will produce advanced N3 chips by 2026 and that its current facility will develop even more cutting-edge chips than originally proposed, going from N5 down to N4.
The investment is a big win for Biden after supply-chain issues disrupted the US economy early in his presidency. It comes amid an ongoing chip-war between the US and China, which is the currently the world’s largest semiconductor market.
Bringing advanced chips production ‘back to US’
Joining Biden for his visit will be Apple CEO Tim Cook, TSMC founder Morris Chang, chipmaker Micron’s head Sanjay Mehrotra and NVIDIA founder and CEO Jensen Huang, among others.
“Bringing TSMC’s investment to the United States is a masterstroke and a game-changing development for the industry,” NVIDIA’s Huang said in remarks prepared for Tuesday’s event.
TSMC is the world’s largest contract chipmaker and a major supplier to major US hardware manufacturers such as Apple and NVIDIA.
Its dominant position as a maker of chips used in technology from cell phones and cars to fighter jets has sparked concerns of over-reliance on the island, especially as China ramps up military pressure to assert its sovereignty claims.
“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 US,” said Brian Deese, director of the White House National Economic Council.
- Reuters, with additional editing by Vishakha Saxena