Governor claims it might be upgraded | Technology

Arizona Tsmc Plant.jpg

After an analyst described the Arizona TSMC plant as a ‘paperweight’ – due to the fact that all the chips it makes will have to be sent to Taiwan for the final stage of production – the state’s governor has claimed that this might change.

Governor Katie Hobbs said during a visit to TSMC in Taiwan that the state and the Apple chipmaker are “talking” about upgrading the capabilities of the plant …

Arizona TSMC plant: The story so far

The headline news last year made things sound like a major success for the US CHIPS Act, which was intended to encourage chipmakers to build American plants, helping the US economy and creating jobs for US workers. Apple proudly announced that it would be buying American-made chips for some of its devices.

The reality has been somewhat different. The plant will only be able to make larger process chips, only suitable for older Apple devices. TSMC demanded bigger subsidies and fewer rules. The project is behind schedule, and over budget, with production already pushed into 2025, from 2024. There is talk of US-made chips costing more than those made in Taiwan, which would mean Apple would likely buy only a token number of them.

US job creation was brought into question after TSMC decided to bring in around 500 Taiwanese workers to speed up construction work, and the battle over this quickly turned ugly.

The ‘paperweight’ claim

A report last week made it clear that the Arizona plant will be even less capable than previously known. Not only will it only be able to make older chips, but it won’t even be able to complete production of these.

While Apple chips may be made in the US, they will still need to be sent back to Taiwan for packaging before they get anywhere near an Apple device.

Packaging is the name given to the process of placing the various circuit…

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