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How many years for Arizona fabs to come online?

Arthur Hanson

Well-known member
With both Intel and TSM building large fab complexes in Arizona, how many years will it take before they start production and how long for them to come up to speed?

With the possibility of conflict heating up, this becomes a key question for the world economy. Can existing fabs be brought up to date faster and how many can support state-of-the-art chip fab? Also, will talent to run fabs be locked down, or is it even possible in the age of modern airlines? Never have I seen so much uncertainty in the world economy. The semi sector has become key to everything and more than ever has become concentrated in a limited number of locations. Any thoughts about how any of these processes could be accelerated would be appreciated.
 
From what I hear, both TSMC and Intel should have their fabs up and running by 2024 at the earliest. They've announced the projects in 2021, it'll take 18 months for the first tools to start moving in (end of 2022) and another year after that for full scale production to start (end of 2023 or the beginning of 2024). This is assuming that there are no further delays.
 

Daniel Nenni

Admin
Staff member
TSMC can build fabs faster in Taiwan since they are partnered with the government. It will be interesting to see how long the AZ fabs take with all of the US red tape. Does anyone know how long in took for the TSMC fab 16 in Nanjing to go online?
 

prime007

Active member
TSMC can build fabs faster in Taiwan since they are partnered with the government. It will be interesting to see how long the AZ fabs take with all of the US red tape. Does anyone know how long in took for the TSMC fab 16 in Nanjing to go online?
Using Google, it looks like TSMC started construction of the Nanjing Fab on July 7, 2016 (Source: https://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/3251523)

TSMC introduced manufacturing equipment on September 12, 2017. Duration: 433 days (1 year, 2 months, 6 days including September 12)

The Nanjing fab officially opened the 12-inch fab on October 31, 2018 (Source: https://www.digitimes.com/news/a20181031PD217.html). Duration: 847 days (2 years, 3 months and 25 days including October 31).
 
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dl324

New member
Retrofitting fabs to a smaller process node doesn't make much sense financially. It's better for the old fab to be left intact and run an old process; keeping utilization high so it doesn't become a drag on the bottom line.

In addition to taking years to build, AZ also presents a problem with sufficient water supply.
 

jmlobert

New member
Retrofitting fabs to a smaller process node doesn't make much sense financially.
Intel did upgrade several fabs in the past, so I doubt that this is true. It cannot possibly be cheaper to build a new fab from the ground up than to throw out old and put in new equipment, provided that the older fab has the important structure to carry the new processes.
 

Daniel Nenni

Admin
Staff member
According to TSMC itself, their biggest problem is recruiting staff. "Americans are no longer interested in factory work," was their takeaway.

Based on our job board analytics TSMC is doing a great job hiring for AZ positions. I'm not sure where the candidates are coming from but the average TSMC job posting for AZ is getting 500+ hits.
 

liangiyy

New member
TSMC can build fabs faster in Taiwan since they are partnered with the government. It will be interesting to see how long the AZ fabs take with all of the US red tape. Does anyone know how long in took for the TSMC fab 16 in Nanjing to go online?
I am more curious about could TSMC set up a new fab(28nm) in Nanjing
 
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