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TSMC sending more workers to speed up building of new Arizona plant

Taiwanese chipmaker TSMC said on Thursday it is sending more workers from Taiwan to the U.S. state of Arizona to help build a massive $40 billion factory to ensure its “fast ramp up”.

The first Arizona chip fabrication facility, or fab, is scheduled to be operational by 2024. A second facility nearby that is expected to make 3 nanometre chips – the most advanced currently in production – is due to be up and running by 2026.

TSMC did not disclose how many workers from Taiwan are currently in Arizona. The additional number who will be going has yet to be determined and will only be in the state for a limited time, it said in a statement.

“Given we are now in a critical phase handling all of the most advanced and dedicated equipment in a sophisticated facility, we require skilled expertise,” it said.

The additions will not impact the 12,000 workers currently on-site every day or U.S.-based hiring, it added.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd, as the company is formally called, is the world’s largest contract chip maker and a major supplier to global tech firms including Apple Inc and Nvidia Corp.

U.S. President Joe Biden has sought to boost domestic semiconductor production after the COVID-19 pandemic caused supply chain problems that led to shortages of chips for vehicles and many other items.

TSMC’s investment is a key part of that ambition, and Biden visited the construction site in December.

While TSMC has said the bulk of its manufacturing, especially of the most advanced chips, will remain in Taiwan, it is also building a plant in Japan and considering another one in Germany.

TSMC’s Taipei-listed shares closed down 0.2% on Thursday, underperforming the broader market (.TWII) which ended flat. The company’s shares have risen 28% so far this year. Reuters

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