Wednesday, Nov 16, 2022, 11:37 Hardware

M3, A17, & Co. – Will Apple's Future Chips Come From... Arizona?

Apple's dependence on China is well-known. The vast majority of computers, smartphones, and tablets from Cupertino, including the Apple Watch, AirPods, and other Apple accessories are currently produced in the most populous country on earth. If the last three years have proven anything, however – it's that this production strategy can cause some considerable problems. Due to the communist regime's strict zero-tolerance policy towards COVID-19 in China, considerable and unforeseeable delays continue to plague the country's factories and result in decreased production capacity and consumer bottlenecks; thus Apple's attempts now to diversify supplier chains and production for quite some time, with both India and Vietnam in-focus.

TSMC Allegedly Planning 2nd Factory In Arizona
The Californian company is very reliant on a significantly smaller country, with respect to central components for the iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Apple's own in-house A and M chips for its devices are manufactured in Taiwan – by TSMC, the third-largest semi-conductor manufacturer in the world. The Hinschu-based, northwestern Taiwanese company possesses the most modern technology and has long been considered one of Apple's most valuable partners. Due to the tense situation in the region and recent production delays, TSMC has been building a US$12 billion chip factory in Arizona, which should begin production in 2024. According to a current report from The Wall Street Journal, the Taiwanese company is now even planning a second factory in the US state.

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New Factory For Apple's Future M- & A-Chips?
The new factory should be located north of Phoenix, and according to the newspaper, be capable of producing chips via the 3-nm production process. Thus, it's very likely that TSMC will also produce future generations of Apple's A- and M-processors at the sites of its recent billion dollar investments. The factory, soon to be in operation, wouldn't be capable of producing Apple's future chips – as it's only suited for 5-nm production and at best, it would only be convertible to 4-nm production. Both processes will no longer suffice for Apple's SoCs – come production time for the M3 and A17. According to The Wall Street Journal, TSMC did not want to confirm these rumors. The company only shared that it is currently planning construction of a building that could potentially serve as a second factory.

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