TSMC to begin Pilot Production Operations by mid-April 2024

More semiconductor news. Leading off, TSMC plant delays in Arizona are disappearing.

In spite of earlier delays, the Arizona TSMC plant is now expected to be operational by end of 2024. Pilot Production to prove the manufacturing process will start mid-April 2024.

Three months earlier, TSMC announced further delays at its $40 billion Arizona fab. TSMC has now said the plant is expected to be operating at full capacity by the end of 2024. What a surprise . . .

The announcement comes several weeks after it first reported TSMC will be awarded more than $5 billion in federal grants under the US CHIPS and Science Act. Maybe there is a connection?

The two plants TSMC is building will produce 4nm and 3nm semiconductors (not the latest 2nm). Each has supposedly been plagued by delays since they were first announced in 2021. In July 2022, the company pushed back the production timeline for its 4nm chips at the site from 2024 to 2025, citing issues around Labor in building the facility.

This is not the first build of a semiconductor plant in AZ,

In January 2024, outgoing TSMC chairman Mark Liu was announcing further delays. According to Mr. Liu, production at the second, more advanced, fabrication plant would not start in 2026. Instead, Liu stated the site would not be operational until 2027 or 2028.

However . . . Chinese news outlet money.udn (online news and content services platform based in China) reports, TSMC is expecting to begin pilot production operations by mid-April. Translated UDN eport:

"It is reported in the industry that TSMC (2330)’s new Arizona plant in the United States is sprinting to conduct trial production of its first production line in mid-April and complete all preparations for mass production by the end of this year. If everything goes well, the new U.S. plant is scheduled to be mass-produced in the first half of 2025. There is a chance that the schedule will be realized by the end of 2024.

Regarding related rumors, TSMC stated yesterday (1st) that TSMC’s Arizona wafer fab is making good progress as planned. For relevant information, please refer to the company’s official external information.

TSMC's stock price fell by 9 yuan yesterday, closing at 770 yuan, but TSMC's ADR rose by more than 4% in early trading on the 1st.

The preparations for mass production will be completed by the end of the year 2024. It is unclear whether both fabs or just the 4nm facility are now due to be in production ahead of schedule.

It really does not matter which plant starts up. What matters are the supposed delays in a startup of either. I talked about this issue weeks ago. So TSMC tosses out continuous issues with American workers which is BS. It is a Red Herring of sorts. So, Biden being a backroom negotiator of Red Herring issues understands the problem. Moving on . . .

Talent shortages were also cited multiple times by TSMC as a cause for the delays at the Arizona plant. According to a report from Nikkei Asia, the chip manufacturer is now looking to directly address these issues at its Japanese plants by signing an agreement with Kyushu University to help support semiconductor talent in the region. Interesting TSMC is calling on Japanese assistance rather than Taiwanese.

Amazing what a few $billion can do to speed up the build and get to pilot production sooner.

TSMC, Arizona plant fab is now ahead of schedule. TSMC signs talent agreement with Kyushu University, Data Center Dynamics.