According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, Apple is planning to source chips from a US facility over the next several years. During a meeting with local engineering and retail personnel in Germany, Apple CEO Tim Cook allegedly said that Apple “had taken a choice to purchase out of a facility in Arizona.” As Gurman points out, it would reduce Apple’s dependence on Asian manufacturing, notably Taiwan, which produces 60% of the world’s processors. “Regardless of your feelings and thoughts, 60 percent coming out of wherever is definitely not a strategic position,” Cook remarked.
Most likely, the CEO is referring to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.’s Arizona facility, which is now under development. TSMC is Apple’s only chip-making partner, however it also has clients such as NVIDIA, MediaTek, AMD, and ARM. The Arizona factory is scheduled to open in 2024, with a monthly production of 20,000 chips and the potential to create 5-nanometer CPUs.
According to prior rumours, Apple intends to use TSMC’s newest and most sophisticated 3-nanometer chipmaking technology for future products. According to the Financial Times, Apple’s A17 mobile CPU, which is presently being developed for its 2023 iPhone range, will be mass manufactured utilising the new technology. It’s unclear if Apple wants to utilise the Arizona plant just for older and less advanced chips, or whether TSMC intends to upgrade the facility. TSMC is already considering developing a second factory close to its $12 billion facility in Arizona, although it has not made a final decision, according to Bloomberg.
As previously reported by the journal, TSMC has been expanding into other nations over the last year in an attempt to suit the demands of clients in countries that encourage local semiconductor manufacture. For example, President Joe Biden just signed the CHIPS and Science Act into law. Under the new legislation, the US government will provide $52 billion in cash and incentives to companies who manufacture semiconductors in the US.
In addition to stating that Apple would begin purchasing US-made chips, Cook is said to have told employees, “I’m sure we’ll also source from Europe as those plans become more evident.” While that was all he said during the conference, Bloomberg earlier reported that TSMC is in negotiations with the German authorities about opening a facility there. Europe, like the United States, is attempting to encourage semiconductor firms to set up shop in the area, and in April presented the EU Chips Act to “bolster [its] competitiveness and resilience in semiconductor technology and applications.”