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Apple to design ‘Made-in-America’ chips; Tim Cook says, ‘marks a new era of…’

Reducing the reliance on Asia-based manufacturing, Apple Inc will now be building chips in the US, confirmed CEO Tim Cook on Wednesday. Taking to Twitter, Cook announced, “Apple silicon unlocks a new level of performance for our users. And soon, many of these chips can be stamped Made in America”. The iPhone maker will be building chips in the US for the first time in nearly a decade. Cook said Apple will expand its relationship with TSMC which already produces chips for the iPhone maker. The plant, scheduled to be operational in 2024, will make a more advanced chip than initially announced.

TSMC, the world’s largest contract chipmaker, is a leading supplier to major US hardware manufacturers. Its $40 billion funding for the two facilities is the company’s largest investment outside of Taiwan.

Apple Inc CEO spoke alongside US President Joe Biden and executives from chip companies at the site of a Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. plant under construction in Phoenix, Arizona.

Celebrating the mammoth expansion of the Taiwanese semiconductor plant, Cook wrote, “The opening of TSMC’s plant in Arizona marks a new era of advanced manufacturing in the US — and we are proud to become the site’s largest customer”.

TSMC announced it is building a second facility in Phoenix by 2026, ballooning its investment from $12 billion to $40 billion, with an eventual target of producing some 600,000 microchips a year.

At least a dozen major cranes are still set up around the first factory which is dubbed Fab 21. The factory is in the northern part of Phoenix, surrounded by brown hills and empty land.

About 10,000 high-tech jobs will be created once both plants are working, the company said.

Apple Inc, Nvidia Corp, and Advanced Micro Devices Inc, all major TSMC customers, said they expected their chips to be made in the new Arizona plants.

With the new TSMC factory in the backdrop with the flag and a drape reading “A Future Made in America Phoenix, AZ,” TSMC executives led by founder Morris Chang, 91, along with CEOs of key machine suppliers and Apple, Nvidia and AMD, toasted the factory opening with sparkling wine.

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