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TSMC Still Won't Commit to Building a US Fab

TSMC headquarters in Silicon Valley

TSMC headquarters in Silicon Valley (Image credit: Shutterstock)

TSMC has been subject to increasing pressure from the Trump administration to consider plans for a chip factory in the U.S., but according to a report from DigiTimes today, the Taiwanese chipmaker said it has no such plans.

Reports of TSMC being urged to build a fab in the U.S. have been around since early this year. The purported reasoning is that the U.S. wants to be less dependent on Asia for its chip manufacturing in the name of security.

According to today's report, TSMC is looking into possible locations outside of Taiwan -- and the U.S. is one of those -- but TSMC said it hasn't made any plans for a new fab yet. DigiTimes' article comes after a Wall Street Journal report on Monday stating that the Trump administration is talking to TSMC, as well as Intel, about building factories on U.S. soil. 

Although TSMC hasn't ruled out the possibility of a U.S. fab, chairman Mark Liu previously told DigiTimes that if TSMC were to build a factory in the U.S., it would be because of consumer demand.

Liu also explained that it would not be cost-effective for TSMC to build a factory in the U.S., as the country wouldn't be able to match the production costs of its fabs in Taiwan. 

All that said, TSMC reportedly has its hands full these days. TSMC is said to be supplying Nvidia with many of its high-end Ampere chips, with Nvidia also turning to Samsung to produce the lower-end parts.

Meanwhile, TSMC is investing heavily in 5nm fabrication and has already started development for its tiny 2nm chips that are expected to be very powerful and efficient.

Niels Broekhuijsen

Niels Broekhuijsen is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He reviews cases, water cooling and pc builds.