Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

Apple chips made at TSMC’s new US plant could be delayed due to labor shortage

Published Jul 20th, 2023 8:20AM EDT
Apple Store Logo
Image: Michael Buckner for BGR

If you buy through a BGR link, we may earn an affiliate commission, helping support our expert product labs.

Apple might have to wait a bit longer to have its Made in the US chips as TSMC is reportedly delaying mass production on its Arizona plant by 2025 due to a shortage of skilled workers and technicians to move equipment into the facility.

According to Nikkei Asia, TSMC Chairman Mark Liu said, “We are encountering certain challenges, as there is an insufficient amount of skilled workers with the specialized expertise required for equipment installation in a semiconductor-grade facility.” With that, TSMC is sending technicians from Taiwan to “make up for delays and the lack of trained local workers.”

That said, the long-expected N4 process technology has been pushed out to 2025. Interestingly, it was previously reported that TSMC would produce from 20,000 wafers a month to 40,000 due to increased demand.

But the lack of skilled workers has delayed plans. At the moment, it’s unclear which Apple products could benefit from this chips’ plant, as this US production is more of a PR movement than actually an essential hub for the Cupertino firm to diversify its supply chain.

Since TSMC will start producing chips using the 5- and 4-nanometer process technology, which is used for Apple’s iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro processors, this means that by 2025, these chips could be used for an upcoming Apple TV, base-model iPad, or even an iPhone SE.

A last year’s report by Nikkei shows that TSMC also wants to bring the latest 3nm chip production to the US, although it could be 50% more expensive than in Taiwan. The iPhone 15 Pro is expected to feature a 3nm A17 Bionic chip, and the M3 processor for Macs could also be based on this technology.

That said, since TSMC is already facing issues with finding skilled workers for the current technology process, moving to 3nm will be even more challenging, as it will require an investment larger than $12 billion to start producing this new generation of chips.

BGR will keep reporting as we learn more about this future TSMC plant in Arizona and how Apple and its customers will benefit from this facility.

José Adorno Tech News Reporter

José is a Tech News Reporter at BGR. He has previously covered Apple and iPhone news for 9to5Mac, and was a producer and web editor for Latin America broadcaster TV Globo. He is based out of Brazil.