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Semiconductor manufacturing giant TSMC is planning to build a factory in Arizona: report

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Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), the world's largest semiconductor manufacturer, is reportedly planning to announce the construction of a factory in the U.S. state of Arizona. 

According to a Wall Street Journal report, TSMC – which is a major supplier of silicon chips to mining hardware makers – is expected to announce the plans for the new factory as early as this coming Friday.

The new factory could start producing chips by the end of 2023 at the earliest and will be making chips that have 5-nanometer (nm) transistors, the Journal wrote, citing people familiar with the matter. 

TSMC is one of the two major silicon ship suppliers to mining machine manufacturers, with the other one being Korea-based Samsung.

Bitmain's latest Antminer S19 – which has a computing power of as high as 110 TH/s – uses TSMC's 7 nm chips. MicroBT, on the other hand, opts for Samsung's 8 nm transistors for its Whatsminer M30s series, which can reach 112 TH/s. 

It is unclear whether the new Arizona factory will take orders from mining hardware makers. Since most mining equipment manufacturers are based in China, it is easier to purchase chips from TSMC and Samsung factories in the region.

However, Texas-based bitcoin miner Layer 1 is also looking to produce its own mining hardware, which currently requires the import of silicon chips from Asia. 

In a conversation with The Block earlier this year, Layer 1 CEO Alex Liegl said they were planning to purchase 10nm chips from Samsung, which will be "as performing as TSMC's 7 nm." 

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Oct 15, 2021, 2:54AM UTC
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