TSMC looks to double down on US chip factories, EU talks hit a snag

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Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSMC) is looking at plans to spend tens of billions of dollars to building more cutting-edge factories in Arizona. In Europe, a debate is playing out over how to boost chip-making, after seeing the effects of an ongoing global chip shortage.

Intel has shown interest in the EU efforts to boost chip-making within the bloc. Pat Gelsinger, Intel’s CEO, pitched a subsidy that may amount to $9 billion for a ‘Eurofab’ proposal, during a trip to Brussels in April. Read our thoughts on this strategy from Intel here.

Eurofab

EU’s industry commissioner, Thierry Breton, who has been all for the Eurofab idea, spoke with TSMC’s Europe president, Marcia Marced, last month. Breton publicly called the TSMC talk a ‘good exchange’ but someone familiar with the matter said the talks went very poorly.

As the most advanced chipmaker in the world, TSMC has billions to spend and many observers are keen to see where those investments are made.

A TSMC spokeswoman issued a statement on the matter, saying that the company has not completely axed everything out but it does not plan to build a plant in Europe.

The sentiments in the EU

European chip and automakers are against the idea of a plant and would like subsidies for older-generation chips, which are heavily used in modern cars and are now in short supply all over the globe.

Some sources have said that TSMC has not ruled out the option to build an older-generation chip plant in Europe to serve the automakers.

The Arizona plans seem to be underway as 250 personnel were sent to Taiwan with their families for training before they return to run the plant. The EU continues to feel the effects of a global chip shortage as observers wait to see how it plays out.