An apple CEO Tim Cook confirmed that Apple will buy US-made microchips at an event in Arizona on Tuesday, where President Joe Biden also spoke.
Cook said Apple will buy processors made at a new factory in Arizona, according to a video of the event.
“And now, thanks to the hard work of so many people, these chips can proudly be stamped ‘Made in America,'” Cook said. “This is an incredibly important moment.”
The chip factories will be owned and operated by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, the largest foundry company with more than half of the world’s market share. TSMC makes the most advanced processors, including the chips in the latest iPhones, iPads and Macs.
The plants will be able to produce 4-nanometer and 3-nanometer chips, which are used for advanced processors such as Apple’s A-series and M-series, and Nvidiathe graphics processors of.
“Today is just the beginning,” Cook said. “Today, we combine the expertise of TSMC with the unmatched ingenuity of American workers. We are investing in a stronger and brighter future, planting our seed in the Arizona desert. And at Apple, we’re proud to help fuel its growth.”
“Apple had to buy all the advanced chips from overseas, now they’re going to bring more of their supply chain home,” Biden said. “This could be a game changer.”
Cook tweeted on Tuesday that Apple would be the site’s “biggest customer.”
Apple CEO Tim Cook looks on during US President Joe Biden’s visit to TSMC’s first AZ (semiconductor manufacturing plant) plant in P1A (Phase 1A), in Phoenix, Arizona, on December 6, 2022.
Jonathan Ernst | Reuters
TSMC currently does most of its manufacturing in Taiwan, which has raised questions from U.S. and European lawmakers about securing supplies in the potential event of a Chinese invasion or other regional problems. Chip companies like Nvidia and Apple design their own chips, but outsource manufacturing to companies like TSMC and Samsung Foundry.
Arizona factories will be partially subsidized by the US government. Earlier this year, Biden signed the CHIPS and Science Act, which includes billions of dollars in incentives for companies that build chip manufacturing facilities in the US.
TSMC said Tuesday it will spend $40 billion on the two plants in Arizona. The first plant in Phoenix is expected to produce chips by 2024. The second plant will open in 2026, according to the Biden administration.
TSMC’s plants will produce 600,000 wafers a year when fully operational, enough to meet annual U.S. demand, according to the National Economic Council.
The US plants will be a small part of TSMC’s total capacity, which produced 12 million wafers in 2020.
AMD CEO Lisa Su said in remarks Tuesday that AMD plans to be a significant user of the TSMC Arizona factories.
American chip company Intel has also said it wants to compete for Apple’s business and is building chip factories in Arizona and Ohio that are expected to be partially subsidized by the CHIPS Act.
Last year, Intel said it would act as a foundry for other companies, although its manufacturing capabilities currently lag behind those of TSMC. This makes Intel less attractive for the fastest chips.