U.S. unveils some US$11.6 bln in grants, loans to TSMC

April 8, 2024

The U.S. government announced a plan Monday to award Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) some US$11.6 billion in grants and loans to support the chipmaker’s investment for three fabrication plants in Arizona, as it strives to boost domestic semiconductor production.

The Department of Commerce has signed a preliminary agreement with TSMC Arizona Corporation, a TSMC subsidiary, to provide up to $6.6 billion in grants and about $5 billion in loans under the CHIPS Act to back TSMC’s investment of more than $65 billion in three leading-edge fabs in Phoenix, the department said.

Under the nonbinding agreement, TSMC Arizona has committed to build an additional third fab in Arizona — part of its investment that the department said helps keep the United States on track to achieve its goal to produce about 20 percent of the world’s advanced chips by 2030.

The announcement came as South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co. is expected to win grants for its investment in Texas under the act that sets aside $39 billion in incentives to encourage chipmakers to build, expand or modernize semiconductor facilities in the U.S.

“TSMC’s renewed commitment to the United States and its investment in Arizona represent a broader story for semiconductor manufacturing that’s made in America, and with the strong support of America’s leading technology firms to build the products we rely on every day,” President Joe Biden said in a statement.

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said TSMC’s investment in its Arizona campus will aid the U.S.’ efforts to “bring the most advanced chip manufacturing in the world to the U.S.”

“The leading-edge semiconductors that will be made here in Arizona are foundational to the technology that will define global economic and national security in the 21st century, including AI and high-performance computing,” she said. “This proposed funding would help make our supply chains more secure and create thousands of good-quality construction and manufacturing jobs for Arizonans.”

Attention has pivoted to how much funding South Korea’s tech giant Samsung Electronics would secure under the CHIPS Act.

Citing sources, Reuters reported Monday that the Biden administration plans to announce it will award between $6 billion and $7 billion to Samsung next week to support construction of four facilities in Taylor, Texas, including a $17 billion chipmaking plant that Samsung announced in 2021.

Last week, The Wall Street Journal reported that Samsung plans to more than double its total semiconductor investment in Texas to about $44 billion — an investment likely to affect the funding that the Biden administration will award to the firm.

TSMC, Intel Corp., GlobalFoundries, BAE Systems Electronic Systems and Microchip Technology Inc. have so far been selected as beneficiaries for CHIPS Act grants.

The Biden administration has been pushing for the initiative to reinvigorate domestic chip manufacturing following semiconductor shortages during the COVID-19 pandemic that laid bare supply chain vulnerabilities.

Having invented the semiconductor, the U.S. produces less than 10 percent of the world’s chips and none of the most advanced ones.