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IN FOCUS - Apr 5, 2024

After a round of construction delays and a much-reported labor dispute, it appears TSMC’s mega facility in north Phoenix has found its footing. The company reportedly will “begin pilot production operations” at its initial, $20 billion North Phoenix fab this month, “with the preparations for mass production to be completed by the end of the year.”

Good news about the world’s largest chipmaker couldn’t have come at a better time.

Tensions between China and Taiwan and the West have reached a fever pitch. Taiwan, still reeling from a deadly earthquake, faces continued displays of aggression from China, which has indicated it intends to reclaim the island. By force, if necessary.

While the timing of any armed confrontation is unknown, there is great urgency to complete TSMC facilities in Arizona and elsewhere. The Taiwan-based semiconductor giant manufactures an estimated 90% of the world’s advanced chips, necessary to operate everything from the phone in your pocket to electric vehicles, laptops and countless other products. Experts warn a China-led attack on Taiwan would likely cripple the semiconductor industry, devastating the global economy.

Those economic impacts could be mitigated if enough semiconductor manufacturing can be established safely outside the conflict zone - which explains the race to get TSMC’s Arizona facility up and running.


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