TSMC Will Start Trial Production at Arizona Fab in 2024

TSMC 3nm Arizona
(Image credit: TSMC)

TSMC has postponed mass production at its Fab 21 in Arizona to 2025 due to alleged workforce shortage in the state, but the company remains optimistic about its American endeavor. To ensure that the fab will ramp production with high yields and meet some demand, the company established a small-scale pilot line that is set to start making chips in 2024.

This pilot line for small-scale production is expected to be operational by the first quarter of 2024 and have a monthly production capacity ranging from 4,000 to 5,000 wafer starts per month. This strategic shift aims to ensure consistent output and mitigate potential breaches of contracts resulting from these delays, according to a report from TrendForce (citing Money DJ, a Taiwanese media outlet).

Considering the fact that total production capacity of TSMC's Fab 21 is about 20,000 wafer starts per month, 4,000 – 5,000 WSPM may not sound like a big deal. But it is a sizeable production capacity — enough to ensure that the line works while producing some of the chips TSMC's clients need made in the U.S.

TSMC initiated construction of its Fab 21 (phase 1) in April 2021, targeting chip production by early 2024. However, equipment move-in delays have pushed the start date to 2025. While TSMC could potentially shift orders from U.S. clients such as Apple, AMD, and Nvidia to its Taiwanese facilities, there are concerns that these facilities might be fully booked in 2024. Additionally, companies such as AMD and Nvidia may have agreements that require them to make certain products in the USA — the delay could breach these contracts. 

That said, TSMC's pilot production line in the USA will certainly be welcomed by its customers.


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.