Apple boss Tim Cook has emphasized that the group will acquire Apple silicon chips “made in the USA” in the future. The manager said this during a visit to the site of the planned factory in Arizona, where Apple’s only SoC manufacturer, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited (TSMC), is investing billions. The announcement was made alongside US President Joe Biden. “The new chips will proudly bear the ‘Made in America’ stamp,” said Cook.
Much praise for many subsidies
Cook praised Biden for promoting the development of his own chip infrastructure in the USA as part of the so-called CHIPS Act. Billions of dollars in subsidies flow to companies that settle there. “President Biden, thank you for your leadership and most importantly, for signing the CHIPS legislation that will allow more and more projects like this to happen. This is a great day for America, for Arizona and also for Apple.”
Apple will continue to work with TSMC for many years to come as the company strikes “new and deeper roots” in America. “There is no area where innovation has had a greater impact than at Apple Silicon.” The technology has revolutionized Apple devices and opened up a new level of performance. Now you have the opportunity to bring the production to the USA. “It’s an opportunity for the United States to usher in a new era of advanced manufacturing.”
Which chips are “Made in USA”?
However, the new Arizona factory has one major disadvantage: it will only be ready for older manufacturing processes, at least initially. Apple had put pressure on TSMC to also build more complex chips in the USA. But the SoCs now planned are around two years behind those coming from the main plants in Taiwan. Accordingly, it can be expected that the “Made in USA” chips will mainly end up in older iPhones, iPads and Macs as well as cheaper models.
It is currently planned that a 4 nm process will start in Arizona from 2024 – then the factory will open according to the current schedule. By then, according to the roadmap, TSMC in Taiwan will have reached at least 3 nm structure widths, which are planned there from 2023. Since Apple is a greedy buyer of the latest technology, the above results: Arizona initially lags behind. The production figures are also still an open question: the output in Taiwan will be significantly higher for years to come. Still, TSMC originally planned to focus on 5 nm in Arizona.