TSMC Completes Construction of 5nm Fab 21 in Arizona

TSMC North America fabs incoming
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

TSMC recently held a topping-out ceremony for its Fab 21 near Phoenix, Arizona, to celebrate the completion of the construction, which progressed at breakneck speeds from March 2021 to July 2022. With the building ready, it is time for TSMC to install supplementary equipment and then move in semiconductor production tools.

"Great progress continues on our 5nm semiconductor fab — Fab 21 — in Phoenix, Arizona," reads a LinkedIn post from TSMC. "We recently celebrated placing the last beam — also known in the construction industry as a 'topping' milestone — in Fab 21's building with our local partners. Over 4,000 attendees were on hand to enjoy this important moment including our own employees and partners." 

Now that the fab shell is complete, TSMC will need to install various anti-vibration devices, wiring, sewerage, ventilation, air conditioning, and so on. Once everything is ready, it will start equipping its cleanroom with various fab equipment, including scanners, etching, deposition, resist removal, metrology, and inspection tools, just to name a few.

Matt Schrader has been following TSMC's construction process since it began last year.

TSMC's Fab 21 is expected to start production in early 2024. Its initial capacity will be 20,000 wafer starts per month (WSPM) on TSMC's N5 (5nm-class) nodes. Meanwhile, the foundry's 1,100-acre site will be able to host additional phases of the fab, bringing the manufacturing capacity of the campus to around 100,000 wafers if there is enough demand for chips produced by the company. The cost of the current phase is estimated to be between $10 billion and $12 billion. 

"#TSMCArizona is on time and on track to bring the most advanced leading-edge semiconductor technology to the U.S.," the post continues. "We are deeply grateful to our partners and look forward to more successful milestones in Arizona."

Anton Shilov
Freelance News Writer

Anton Shilov is a Freelance News Writer at Tom’s Hardware US. Over the past couple of decades, he has covered everything from CPUs and GPUs to supercomputers and from modern process technologies and latest fab tools to high-tech industry trends.

  • daworstplaya
    This is great news!
  • Kridian
    Definitely some good news.
    China can proceed with its evil plans now.*
  • thisisaname
    The shed is built but construction is far from completed.
  • The Historical Fidelity
    I know that TSMC chose Arizona due to the existing population of fab talent to tap into but I must say, they must also like having to deal with water shortages to want to manufacture water intensive products in possibly the driest state in the US.
  • watzupken
    Let’s see if they can overcome the next few hurdles, which is to get the equipments, materials and manpower to get it running at capacity. Completion of the building is the easiest part in my opinion.
  • If we had not listened to all those silly Financial and MBA guys way back when, who talked us into putting all of our eggs in one basket i.e. China, then we wouldn’t be in this predicament. Our own government also screws us by not working with these big companies to keep them here in our own country where we need them. We should be self-sufficient and not relying on China or enemies.

    Anyone in finance at large corporations, Who advocates for moving everything offshore because it’s cheaper needs to be fired. They should also never be allowed to work in ANY industry again