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TSMC investment will strengthen U.S. national security: Pompeo

ROC Central News Agency

05/15/2020 04:21 PM

Washington, May 15 (CNA) United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Friday that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.'s (TSMC's) plan to build an advanced semiconductor fab foundry in Arizona is expected to strengthen U.S. national security.

In a statement, Pompeo said he welcomed TSMC's plan to invest US$12 billion to build a sophisticated 5 nanometer wafer plant in Arizona after the Taiwanese semiconductor giant confirmed the investment earlier in the day.

"The TSMC deal is a game changer for the U.S. semiconductor industry that will bolster American national security and our economic prosperity," Pompeo said in the statement.

"TSMC's announcement comes at a critical juncture, when China is competing to dominate cutting-edge technology and control critical industries," Pompeo said.

"The TSMC facility in Arizona will increase U.S. economic independence, bolster our safety and competitiveness, and strengthen our leadership in high-tech manufacturing," he said.

TSMC said construction of the state-of the art wafer plant is scheduled to start in 2021 and the facility is expected to start mass production in 2024. The 5nm process is the latest technology TSMC has started production.

According to TSMC, the wafer plant, which will have a monthly production capacity of 20,000 units, is expected to directly create 1,600 high-tech professional jobs and indirectly add thousands of other jobs in the semiconductor ecosystem.

In response to TSMC's assessment of the investment plan, Pompeo said the creation of a cluster of thriving high-skilled sub-industries is expected to help ensure U.S. leadership in technologies of the future and also facilitate cutting-edge research and development by U.S. universities and companies.

"With TSMC's commitment, high-tech chips will be Made in America once again-the nation where the semiconductor industry was invented. These chips will power everything from artificial intelligence to 5G base stations to F-35s," Pompeo said.

"This historic deal also strengthens our relationship with Taiwan, a vibrant democracy and force for good in the world," he added.

The Wall Street Journal cited sources close to the investment as saying that both State and Commerce Departments are involved in the plan.

TSMC said the Arizona facility will be the company's second production site in the U.S.

Currently, the company runs a fab in Camas, Washington and design centers in Austin, Texas and San Jose, California.

TSMC is currently developing the even more advanced 3nm process which is expected to go into production in 2022.

(By Stacy Hsu and Frances Huang)

Enditem/AW



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