LONDON – Amid plans to increase capital spending to a record $9 billion in 2013, Taiwanese foundry TSMC is seeking a location for a wafer fab, with the U.S. as a possibility, according to a local news report.
Commenting on speculation that TSMC (Hsinchu, Taiwan) might build a fab in New York, Morris Chang, chairman and CEO of TSMC, said that his company is looking for a location for a wafer fab. "The U.S. is one of the places under consideration. But this has nothing to do with Apple," the Taipei Times quoted Chang as saying. Chang was speaking at the Supply Chain Management Forum in Hsinchu, Taiwan.
It has been speculated that TSMC might be the entity behind Project Azalea that is considering build a factory in New York state, or behind a similarly named project in Oregon. It has also been speculated that TSMC might be considering a U.S. site under pressure from Apple, which has become an important buyers of foundry services for the processors it uses in its smart phones and tablet computers.
TSMC has budgeted $8.3 billion for capital spending in 2012, which it will increase to $9 billion in 2013. At the same time the budget for R&D is $1.37 billion in 2012 and is due to expand by 17 percent to $1.6 billion in 2013, the report quoted Chang as saying.
The capital spending will help TSMC expand manufacturing capacity particularly of leading-edge 28-nm process technology which has been in short supply during 2012. TSMC also expects to bring up a 20-nm bulk planar CMOS process in 2013.
Chang said he expects the global chip market to grow 3 percent next year after a fall of 2 percent in 2012, although he expects TSMC to grow by 15 to 20 percent in 2013, the report added.
Morris Chang says " "The U.S. is one of the places under consideration. But this has nothing to do with Apple," Could be true. The principal reason for this ex TI Engr to bring back Fabs / Foundries to the US could be that TSMC needs to tap into expertise in the US on new transistors like FinFETs and to hire people who wold not like to move to Taiwan. The rumor mill has it that TSMC is onsidering locations in both NY and Oregon. Intel process development is done in Hillsboro Oregon. IBM is still a force to reckon with and still has a lot of good people in NY.
Way back in the horse and buggy days, the US had tens of thousands of excellent fab operators, technicians and engineers. The last 20 years has seen that expert talent pool dwindling as fabrication has gone to other countries. It would be excellent to see that revived and with it the mentoring that goes on from senior to junior people, creating the next generation of technical experts. I'll believe it when it happens, but it's nice to hear it being discussed.
If TSMC wants to expand, they will have to get out of Taiwan and hire talent around the world to stay competitive in Long run.
There is lot of talent in USA,still has world's best Research Universities,
I bet that lot of TSMC's top engineer & scientists study in US.
There are more than 10 times more fab outside US as inside US.
It must be a joke to suggest US has best semiconductor engineering programs and that somehow now Toshiba, Samsung, UMC, TSMC and others depend on US for engineering talent.
It is US struggling to revive their industry and recruit engineers from outside US.
I find it odd that TSMC would consider NY or OR locations when they already have an existing facility with room for a large expansion close to Silicon Forest at their WaferTech facility in Camas, WA. With the real estate, utilities, and personnel already in place or readily available why go any where else?
Hi Stargazer801, I could be wrong, but the Wafertech facility in Camas Wa is a very old, outdated factory they acquired. I'd speculate one would want to build a bleeding edge factory in a location which already hosted bleeding edge facilities, to harvest local talent already skilled on the latest tools / equipment / processes.
East Coast fabs are not built on faults, have better access to Europe and banking as well as key universities, and Sematech, and have four seasons and lots of water and natural gas.
And they are in the USA which is IP-protection friendly. Global techies will work anywhere, but US is preferred for raising kids I am told by many. Just sit back and watch what happens.
Asia and India are growing very fast, so they can make things for them own consumption in their own country, and still support US fabs and assembly/test operations for US-made systems, for US consumption. Just slowly growth here.
Long supply chains have been less then perfect.
So as automation improves, making things locally for local consumption is obvious solution. And New York State to North Carolina has many bright people and educational systems, and inland its very stable compared to Bay Area or Washington with its potential Richter Nine coming some day.