Apple, TSMC’s largest client, will not be excluded from the trend of geographic diversification in chip manufacturing. CEO Tim Cook stated this during his business trip in Germany. Apple will start using chips manufactured in Arizona in the United States and Europe from 2024.
“We have already made the decision to start purchasing products from the Arizona facility, which will start operations in 2024, so we have no more than two years left before that moment,” Bloomberg reports that Tim Cook spoke at a meeting of Apple employees in Europe. The Arizona facility he mentioned is not his. It can only be assumed that he was referring to the TSMC factory currently under construction. This plant will produce 20,000 silicon wafers each month and will start processing 5-nm products in 2024. These volumes will not cover the main component demand of Apple, and the 5nm process technology will lose its status as “the most advanced”. However, Apple may still have minor components made in the USA.
Tim Cook said that Apple was confident it would be able to procure European-made chips. “Plans for the emergence relevant enterprises are becoming increasingly obvious”. This could refer to the rumored construction of a TSMC plant in Germany. Apple cannot rely on Intel’s contract production services for its processors. It has nearly abandoned the use off-the-shelf Intel processors in its personal computers. The contractor also has very little experience in manufacturing Arm-compatible components. You will recall that Intel has existing facilities in Arizona, and is currently building new ones. In Germany, it is also building another facility to serve third-party clients.
Tim Cook made it clear to his employees that 60% of processors sold to the world market now come from Taiwan. This is both not profitable and good strategically, he said. Apple has been able to produce the Mac Pro in Texas. However, the main contractors of the company still operate in Asia, even though we’re not referring to China. TSMC plans to build a third 3nm contract manufacturing plant in Arizona. However, it won’t be ready for Apple to order in 2024. Tim Cook stated that silicon component production will be developed in the US and Europe thanks to significant investments.