back to article TSMC says Arizona fab behind schedule, blames chip geek shortage

TSMC on Thursday said its under-construction chip fab in Arizona won't be up and running until at least 2025 because of a shortage of skilled workers. During the Taiwanese giant's Q2 earnings call, CEO Mark Liu acknowledged the biz can't get enough workers to complete the building project on its original timeline. TSMC had …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Kindnap TSMC CEO and workers.

    The best strategy for the US would be to allocate an entire county sized area as a special administrative region and kidnap TSMC and sufficient number of TSMC suppliers and workers to migrate and inhabit, with a limited autonomy, so that they may thrive and contribute as a cohesive social/cultural unit.

    There is precedent for that - the present day town of Miyata in Kagoshima Japan was founded by Korean Potters who were kidnapped and brought to Japan under the orders of Toyotomi Hideyoshi. They brought with them advanced kiln technology and greatly advanced Japanese pottery.

    Not sure Arizona is the right place though - recently recorded 19 consecutive days reaching 111 degrees f (44 c). Florida? - no, will be underwater soon. Silicon Valley has a lot of empty office and industrial space now - sounds good!

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: Kindnap TSMC CEO and workers.

      The wiki article on Kagoshima says nothing about kidnapped Korean potters, it states that nineteen young men "broke the Tokugawa ban on foreign travel, traveling to various industrial locations in The UK before returning to share the benefits of the best of Western science and technology".

      Besides, it's hardly because nation-state kidnapping was a thing in the past that it is a good idea to go ahead and do it today. Slavery was also a thing, so why bother with autonomy while you're at it ?

      1. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge

        Re: Kindnap TSMC CEO and workers.

        Before contradicting, make a proper research and look here.

    2. Lurko

      Re: Kindnap TSMC CEO and workers.

      Why kidnap them? You could probably just offer US citizenship to the entire population of Taiwan, and find that 85%+ would be delighted to move. Especially if it was clear that the US won't subsequently guarantee Taiwan's sovereignty. Faced with a choice of re-assimilation by China or moving to the US and becoming a citizen, I know what I'd choose. And not terribly different to the way the UK offered many citizens Hong Kong the option. And if I was a Taiwanese business, I'd certainly want to up sticks and move to the US.

      As for the climate, Texas or Arizona might be hot, but Taiwan is both hot and humid, and subject to regular typhoons and near-annual severe earthquakes.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sounds familiar, Foxcon also had a bunch of excuses when they tried to open a U.S plant. Nothing to do with ridiculous choice of location though....

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      I'm just waiting for the plant shutdowns due to "unforeseen" water shortages.

      Guys, you're building very thirsty plants in the desert at the tail end of a dying Colorado River.

      This will not end well.

      1. BebopRocksteady

        When something seems daft you can be damn sure it'll have came from someone at the top pushing it regardless of the concerns raised

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        That is how they get the US govt funds, so that is where they'll go

      3. rcxb Silver badge

        Guys, you're building very thirsty plants in the desert at the tail end of a dying Colorado River.

        I find it very strange to frequently hear this refrain. Would it be better to raze a few square miles of old-growth forest to build on, instead? Or is it perhaps better to evict a few lizards and figure out how to bring in some water?

        Water is cheap. Why would you make your least expensive component dominate your decision making process? Pipelines, aqueducts, trucks, trains and recycling/filtration are things that exist and can deliver water to you at varying levels of expense.

        And it's not as if only the desert has water shortages. Minnesota is currently under water use restrictions due to drought. It's difficult to find anywhere that doesn't routinely face drought and water shortages. But perhaps you'll feel better when they announce "unexpected" water shortages in some Arctic wasteland? Of course there they'll have the "unexpected" frozen equipment stopping production, too.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Water is cheap

          Petroleum was cheap, so we got a few wars about its control, and we will get more.

          Will you send the last few drops of water available in Arizona to people in Phoenix, or do you prefer to use them at a plant nearby so people in Washington can get a new phone every few months?

          The capitalist answer is obvious.

      4. toejam++

        It isn't as bad as you think. The Phoenix municipal water system obtains around two-thirds of its water from in-state sources, primarily the Salt River, Verde River, and local groundwater, which are all doing better than the Colorado River. The local aquifer is within a state management area, so groundwater withdraws are tightly regulated.

        Once the plant is running, around 80% of the water utilized by the fab will be collected, purified, and reused. The fab will reuse about 60% of it, while the rest will be sent to the city's gray water system, which provides water to parks, aquifer recharge facilities, and various industrial customers.

      5. KSM-AZ


        TSMC's Central Taiwan Science Park, for example, uses 3.3% of its daily allocation, or around 4.9 acre-feet of water per year. The Southern Taiwan Science Park and the Hsinchu Science Park use 5 acre-feet of water and 5.7 acre-feet of water daily, respectively.

        The reason behind the minimal consumption is thanks to recycled water.


  3. RegGuy1 Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Seeing how TSMC fits into the entire silicon processing supply chain I heartily recommend the book reviewed here: The material roots of the weightless. The book is called Material World and is written by Ed Conway, economics editor at Sky News. It covers other raw materials as well as sand (silicon dioxide). Well worth a read, and you will learn a lot!

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Way to go Joe

    6 billion of my tax dollars going to Taiwan to build a plant they can't build because we have no workers to build it. If anything says Democrat program that one does.

    Not to mention building it in a desert where these plants use massive amounts of water and cooling.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Way to go Joe (McCarthy?)

      Ah yes, another stubs-toe-damns-democrats comentooter

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  5. StillBill

    Let me translate

    We can't find enough workers that will work for what we want to pay them. I mean seriously. Pay 100/hr and you will have employees kicking down the door trying to work there.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Let me translate

      When you have only a handful of competent people on a specific subject, you can only rob Peter to have Paul building his plant.

      And soon all of the $39B USD goes to pay a handful of guys, and not even politicians...

      If only you had spent a fraction of that sum on education...

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