"Tax breaks" can have huge impact on costs & profit. I'd guess this is part of the discussion.
Also, the concern about earthquakes are very real. There is no way a fab can be "earthquake proof." Doing something like sensing the earthquake and turning off tools can be the worst thing that could happen to ICs during certain processing steps.
Probably 75% of engineers who support fabs do not have to be local to that fab. They are mainly looking at data and providing support that can be done remotely. Many engineers support multiple fabs that are spread across the global in this way.
As a poster named "pinhead" said: "Guys, this is *Albany*, not Manhattan."
The fact that so many posters here are talking about Bloomberg and new York City etc ... obviously oblivious.
Also an "investment in the state" hardly means a FAB, even though the author "presumes" this is what is being discussed. It might well be a design/RD center, associated with the the cluster of such there around Nanotech/Sematech2.
Or, as to why TSMC might locate a fab in the US I can only speculate, but once that decision to do so is made, for whatever reason, then locating in an area of burgeoning fab installations does likely ease permitting, support resources, and access to trained personnel ... at least until the cumulative impact and drain of these fabs starts to strain local resources and carrying capacity.
Having Global Foundries and TSMC "right across the street" from each other would be amusing, but plausible for the same reasons gas-stations are often all clustered around a very few street corners.
But then again .., no real story until TSMC actually does it. Folks can stop hyperventilating.....
The amount of semiconductor companies operating out of the Portland Oregon area is pretty crazy, and TSMC already owns and operates a fab there. They hold the record as that fab is the largest pure-play fab in the US. Not to mention HP operates two campuses there, linear technologies operates a fab there, shin-etsu, the largest volume wafer manufacturer in the world operates a plant and has their American hq there, the list goes on.
However, if they setup another fab in America, I doubt they will be working on sub-Micron nodes. It's much cheaper to manufacture the sub-Micron technologies in the already-established Taiwan gigafabs. The only way you will see a sub-Micron fab owned by TSMC in America is if TI, Apple, and AMD foot the bill, as they are TSMC's biggest submicron customers.
TSMC wholly owns the campus in Washington. Earthquakes are a fact of life, and even more so in Taiwan, where TSMC operates 8+fabs. In the 15years wafertech has been in operation it has only shutdown due to seismic activity once for an earthquake 200 miles away. All fabs have seismic sensors that shut down equipment and hazmat lines the instant seismic activity is detected. So really, its a non issue. The only way I see TSMC going through with a new York fab is if the state and another company foot the majority of the startup money. That was how they got wafertech started, that's how they got TSMC-China started, that's how they got all of their non-taiwanese fabs off the ground.
TSMC has to built fabs outside Taiwan, imagine what would happen to their business (and to many other big companies) if there was a strong earthquake there...but whether it will be in New York, Brasil, Poland or North Pole that is another story...Kris
This is not the first time that I hear rumors about TSMC looking into building a fab upstate New York. The first time was when Luther Forest in Malta was looking for companies. TSMC owns a lot of land in Taiwan and just bought more land (Dec 2011). Only if there are huge incentives (better than Taiwan), it makes sense for TSMC to build a fab there. Can New York state offer these incentives?
There are a lot of interesting comments. One thing we have to observe here is, solid state transistor first appeared in east coast but Si valley is CA (how many fabs?).
If some one looks at the fabs in the US, it is in ID, UT, VA, OR, TX, WA, NY, ME, AZ, NM and some old and small fabs elsewhere. Intel moved to OR long back, is a great example. It is debatable about the cost of living in NY, but upstate NY =/= Manhattan. It is very rural, lots of snow in winter etc., like places where most of other fabs are!
I agree with another comment here, living in Albany as an engineer is not bad at all. Whatever we debate here, it is helpful to have a fab making sub nanometer devices with great precision. Let us encourage the enterprise.
Guys, this is *Albany*, not Manhattan. Cost of living is higher than, say, Kentucky - but it's not as much of an issue as you're making it out to be. You can have a great life in Albany on an engineer's salary.