February 29, 2024

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Pelosi meets TSMC in Taiwan

Pelosi meets TSMC in Taiwan


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) will meet the head of Taiwan’s largest semiconductor manufacturer during her visit to the island, in a sign of how important computer chips are to the US economy and national security.

Pelosi and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation (TSMC) Chairman Mark Liu will discuss implementation of the recently passed law Chip and science lawwhich provides $52 billion in federal subsidies to local chip factories, according to people familiar with the matter, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss Pelosi’s sensitive schedule.

The meeting, scheduled for Wednesday Taiwan time, comes within the framework of TSMC Builds a chip factory in Arizona and is considering expanding that project to additional plants on the same site, one person said.

small electronic components brain Which powers all modern electronic devices. They were in in short supply globally for nearly two years due to the increasing demand and scarcity of expensive factories needed to make the ingredients, which has prompted countries around the world to scramble to build More manufacturing sites.

TSMC is the world’s largest chip manufacturer and a vital supplier to the United States and other Western countries. It is by far the largest chipmaker in Taiwan, which together Produce More than 90 percent of the world’s high-tech chips are, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association.

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The US uses chips manufactured by TSMC in military equipment, including F-35 fighter jets and Javelin missiles, and in supercomputers at US National Laboratories, according to one of the people familiar with the meeting. Major consumer electronics companies including Apple also rely on a variety of semiconductors made by TSMC.

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US officials have become increasingly concerned about this dependence in recent years with regard to China stunts towards Taiwan, a self-governing democracy that Beijing claims to be its territory even though it has never ruled. These concerns have led officials and lawmakers to pressure TSMC to build manufacturing facilities in the United States.

In May 2020, TSMC Building approved A $12 billion plant in Arizona to produce chips with five nanometer transistors, a high-tech type of semiconductor used in consumer electronics. For comparison, the average thickness of a human hair is about 60 thousand nanometers.

This construction is in progress and aims to be completed late next year, on a plot of land in North Phoenix that can accommodate several additional plants. A person familiar with Pelosi’s planned meeting said TSMC is now considering expanding its plans to build additional plants at the site.

In an interview in June, a Taiwanese minister and TSMC board member He said The pace of the company’s construction at the Phoenix site will depend on the passage of the Federal Subsidy Act, which Congress approved last week. It is expected that President Biden will sign it soon.

One of the obstacles facing TSMC in Arizona: There are not enough trained semiconductor engineers in the area to staff the facility, Minister and Board Member Ming Hsin Kong said. He said the company has begun sending new employees to Taiwan for training, including professionals skilled in other types of engineering.

About 250 have already made the training trip, including hands-on work at TSMC’s chip factories.

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