Apple supplier Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) is building four new chip fabrication plants in Tainan, Taiwan, after having just completed another four facilities in the area — reports Nikkei Asia.
The new facilities will house TSMC’s new 3-nanometer process nodes, with each costing around $10 billion USD.
“Look around. We’re in a rush to finish construction at this TSMC site, too,” one construction worker told Nikkei Asia. “Everyone here works overtime until late at night, and we come in on holidays, too.”
Apple is expected to be one of the first companies to adopt TSMC’s next-generation 3nm chips. In fact, the chipmaker reportedly started trial production of 3nm ‘M3’ Mac chips for Apple late last year.
TSMC on Friday also announced it was on track to start production of 2nm chips by 2025.
The Apple supplier isn’t alone in its desire to expand in Taiwan. Other chipmakers have poured approximately $120 billion into additional fabrication capacity in Taiwan.
At least 20 new chip factories owned by TSMC, United Microelectronics Corp., and Nanya Technology are either under construction or recently completed somewhere on the island. The projects account for a total of 2 million sq. meters (21.5 million sq. feet) of floor space.
Plant locations are also varied, ranging from New Taipei City in the north to Kaohsiung in the south.
That’s not to say chipmakers are putting all of their eggs in one basket. They, like most other businesses, want to diversify their supply chains in this post-pandemic world. TSMC, for example, is building a new chip factory in Arizona, seeking a new one in Singapore, and considering another one in Japan with Sony.
Taiwan, which accounts for more than 90% of the global chip production capacity right now, relies on its dominance in the chipmaking scene to serve as a potential shield against the geopolitical risks it currently faces from China.
The growth should help Taiwan hold on to that chip. “With so much semiconductor production concentrated in Taiwan, the world can’t just abandon it,” said one Taiwanese chip industry insider.