Reports: TSMC Advanced Chip Fab Back on Schedule in Arizona; Dutch Government Announces Support for ASML

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A news report from a Chinese news outlet states that chip producer Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) may have overcome earlier reported problems at its Arizona advanced-chip fab and will begin mass production of 3- and 4-nanometer chips possibly ahead of schedule.

“The Arizona plant is said to be sprinting towards mid-term trial production this month and aims to put it into production by the end of the year,” reported Money.udn. “…If all goes well, the new U.S. plant is scheduled to be mass-produced in the first half of 2025. The schedule has the opportunity to be realized by the end of 2024.”

As has been widely reported, TSMC’s initiative to build fabs in Arizona, launched three years ago, have run into delays and a dearth of employees with skills and experience in chip manufacturing. Earlier this year, the company announced that its most advanced of the two new fabs wouldn’t begin until 2027 or the year after, a delay of one to two years. But now the situation seems to have improved dramatically.

TSMC has not commented on the Money.udn report, but the company is is planning a press conference in mid-April when it will release a fab timeline update.

In related news, the government of The Netherlands has announced an investment of nearly $3 billion “to strengthen the business climate in Branport Eindhoven,” the part of the country where chip manufacturing equipment company ASML is located.

ASML is the only company in the world that produces extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUV) machines, which enable production of advanced chips produced by TSMC, Samsung, Intel and other chip producers. According to an article in Data Center Dynamics, the Dutch government is making the move in order to avoid ASML leaving the country.

“In a statement last week, economic affairs minister, Micky Adriaansens, confirmed the €2.5 billion ($2.7 billion) spending package dubbed ‘Project Beethoven’ will be used to improve housing, education, and transport routes, in addition to dealing with electric grid capacity shortages in the suburb,” Data Center Dynamics reported, noting that ASML is Europe’s most valuable technology company.

“The government expects that these measures [outlined in Project Beethoven] will lead ASML to continue to invest and base its operations in the Netherlands, including for statutory and tax purposes,” Adriaansens said.