The cost of building a factory in the United States is too high: TSMC may be “made in Taiwan and assembled in the United States”

As we all know, TSMC has decided to build a 5nm fab in Phoenix, Arizona, the United States, with a planned investment of $12 billion, and mass production of 5nm chips in 2024, with a production capacity of about 20,000 pieces per month.

At present, the construction of TSMC has started, but the construction cost has made it difficult for TSMC, because the cost of building a factory in the United States is too high.

On the one hand, Arizona’s geographical location is not very good, there are many deserts, and the transportation and environmental conditions are very harsh. More importantly, the local workers are hard to find, and the wages are very high, and the trade union is very strong, and if you are not careful, you will be punished.

In addition, the local supply chain is insufficient, and supporting facilities are also more troublesome. Therefore, TSMC built a 5nm chip factory in the United States, and the cost of light clean room, MEP, AAS and other projects will be NT$50 billion (US$1.789 billion), which is much higher than the previous one. The budget is 4 or 5 times the cost of building a factory of the same scale in Taiwan.

However, TSMC recently found a good way, that is, to manufacture all the things needed to build a factory in Taiwan, and then ship them to the United States for assembly by sea, which can save 30% of the cost.

Specifically, some core products of the new factory, such as the necessary components for infrastructure projects such as the clean room of the new factory, are first manufactured in Taiwan, which is 70% to 80%, and then transported to the United States by containers. , Assemble locally, so not only the cost is lower, but also the quality, cost and delivery can be controlled.

Although the transportation cost is huge, and the transportation cost alone requires hundreds of millions of dollars, it is still about 30% lower than the local construction cost in the United States.

And TSMC also came up with another method, that is, in order to stimulate the enthusiasm of partners, the cost saved by the method of “Made in Taiwan, Assembled in the United States” is divided into five or five accounts with partners, so that TSMC saves money, and the other party is also motivated. , to achieve the purpose of win-win cooperation.

I don’t know what everyone thinks about this consumption? I think that even if TSMC really builds the factory through this method, the production will be troublesome at that time. After all, the local supply chain in the United States is insufficient and the labor cost is high. Costs have risen and competitiveness will drop, but these are also things that TSMC has to consider.

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