Wednesday, Nov 23, 2022, 16:47 Economy

Apple Chips From Arizona – Wishful Thinking Or A Potential Reality?

When the news came out a few days ago that TSMC is planning on opening a second major factory in Arizona, many viewed this as the company taking a step towards liberation from China. Over the last few months, there have been frequent reports concerning delays and plenty of problems during production due to reliance on China. Although TSMC, Apple's most important production partner, is based in Taiwan – the company is unfortunately still quite closely connected with China, not an easy thing to be as a Taiwanese company, due to the geopolitical conflict in the area stemming from China's continued irredentism towards Taiwan. Meanwhile, TSMC company has confirmed that it has indeed invested US$12 billion in state-of-the-art production facilities.

Production Of 5-nm & 3-nm Chips Confirmed
With the plans now set in stone, TSMC is preparing to produce chips in the 5-nm process – as per Reuters, and the next step should be producing chips in the 3-nm process. This is notable, given that Apple's next chip architecture is likely to make the switch to 3-nm – with both the M3 and the A17 expected to do so. Even though a significant amount of TSMC's output should take place in the USA in the future, not much has changed with the entire situation overall – nor with the company's cooperation with Apple.



Mostly Marketing – Limited Capacity
As stated in a recent Bloomberg article, TSMC's recent announcement is as much a marketing tactic as it is an expansion of the company's operations. Although the companies involved may like to propagate the "Back to America" slogan, this isn't the case. Due to the limited capacity of the factories, it's highly unlikely that we'll be seeing iPhone processors from Arizona any time soon. TSMC has only made a very fall step towards independence from China's sphere of influence – even when some might still hope to one day see Tim Cook begin an Apple Keynote in 2025 with the statement that all Apple chips will come from the USA.

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