In the future, it also plans to import chips from Europe.
According to Mark Gurman of Bloomberg, Apple is getting ready to buy chips from a US plant in the coming years. In a meeting with local engineering and retail staff in Germany, company CEO Tim Cook reportedly said that Apple "had made a decision to be buying out of a plant in Arizona." As Gurman points out, it would reduce Apple's reliance on Asian factories, particularly Taiwan, which produces 60% of the world's processors. Despite how you might feel and think, Cook continued, "60 percent coming out of wherever is definitely not a strategic position."
The Arizona facility of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., which is now under development, is most likely the subject of the CEO's remarks. Though it also serves NVIDIA, MediaTek, AMD, and ARM as some of its clients, TSMC is Apple's exclusive chip-making partner. The Arizona facility will be able to manufacture 5-nanometer CPUs and create 20,000 chips per month when it begins operating in 2024.
For next products, Apple is reportedly planning to use TSMC's newest and most sophisticated 3-nanometer chip making technology. According to The Financial Times, the new technology will be used to mass build the A17 mobile processor Apple is currently developing for its 2023 iPhone lineup. It's not known if TSMC intends to modernize the factory or if Apple solely intends to use the Arizona plant for older, less advanced processors. TSMC told Bloomberg that while it is already considering adding a second factory to its $12 billion Arizona project, it has not yet made a final decision.
TSMC has been growing internationally during the past year, as the journal has reported, in an effort to meet the demands of clients in nations that support domestic semiconductor production. For instance, the CHIPS and Science Act was just approved by the president, Joe Biden. The US government is providing $52 billion in cash and incentives to businesses who produce chips in the nation as a result of the new law.
Cook reportedly told staff members, "I'm sure that we will also source from Europe as those plans become more evident," in addition to confirming that Apple will begin acquiring CPUs built in the US. Bloomberg earlier reported that TSMC is in discussions with the German government to open facilities there, even though that was all he said during the meeting. The EU Chips Act was enacted in April to "bolster [its] competitiveness and resilience in semiconductor technologies and applications," as Europe, like the US, sought to encourage semiconductor firms to construct operations in the area.