Make chips in the US? Not now, says TSMC, but maybe later.

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TSMC, which makes the A-series chips for Apple’s iPhones and iPads, says it may in future make chips in the US…

The company, whose full name is the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, says that it has no ‘short term’ plans to do so, but is considering the possibility further ahead.

Digitimes carries the report.

In response to reports indicating Washington has increased its pressure on TSMC to have a plant in the US for the fabrication of high-security products, the Taiwan-based foundry said that it has no such plans in the short term but the feasibility is being evaluated.

It should be noted that it’s not uncommon for companies to respond to political pressure by making vague noises that it thinks will keep people happy for the time being. White House administrations come and go, and if any particular one can score political points by being able to say that something is being considered, it costs TSMC nothing to make the claim.

Even if things were to progress beyond a feasibility study, that’s no guarantee that US jobs will be created, as has already been seen with Foxconn. The iPhone assembler sought up to $4B’s worth of tax breaks and other incentives for the promise of 13,000 jobs. Almost a billion of that money had been spent by last year, with just 178 jobs created.

While TSMC may or make not make chips in the US some way down the road, it is predicting strong growth this year.

The global IC foundry market is forecast to increase 17% in 2020, outpacing the overall semiconductor sector’s 8% growth, according to TSMC CEO CC Wei. TSMC will continue to see its sales increase outperform the overall IC foundry market growth this year, said Wei.

One factor here will be an expected surge in iPhone sales this year prompted by 5G support in a new flat-sided design.

Image: Shutterstock

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