By Sarah Wu
TAIPEI (Reuters) -The U.S. state of Arizona is in talks with Taiwanese chipmaker TSMC on advanced packaging, state governor Katie Hobbs said on Tuesday, which is crucial for the manufacturing of artificial intelligence (AI) chips.
TSMC, which is building a $40 billion chip factory in Arizona, has not announced plans to build facilities for advanced chip packaging in the United States. Advanced packaging processes stitch multiple chips together into a single device, lowering the added cost of more powerful computing.
“Part of our efforts at building the semiconductor ecosystem is focusing on advanced packaging, so we have several things in the works around that right now,” Hobbs said on the sidelines of a U.S.-Taiwan supply chain forum.
Driven by a surge in demand for AI chips, TSMC has been unable to fulfil customer demand for advanced packaging services and has been rapidly expanding capacity, including a nearly T$90 billion ($2.81 billion) investment in a new facility in Taiwan.
In July, TSMC said its Arizona plant would be delayed until 2025 because of a shortage of specialist workers and it was sending technicians from Taiwan to train local staff. Production had been due to start next year.
Hobbs said she did not expect further delays.
“The project is going well in Arizona. I’m very impressed by the speed with which it’s been built and we are working through bugs and expect it to continue on schedule,” she said.
Hobbs said she met TSMC executives on Monday.
“We talked about our continued partnership, their investments in Arizona, how we can continue to address any issues that come up,” she said.
“We’re continuing to make sure that we have the skilled workforce that’s needed, both on the advanced manufacturing side but also the construction side so that we can continue these investments.”
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd, the world’s largest contract chipmaker, counts Apple and Nvidia among its major clients.
Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen, meeting Hobbs at the presidential office later on Tuesday, praised TSMC’s Arizona plant as a symbol of cooperation.
“These joint efforts also will help us create more secure and resilient supply chains,” Tsai said.
($1 = 32.0120 Taiwan dollars)
(Reporting by Sarah Wu; Writing by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman, Edmund Klamann and Christian Schmollinger)
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