TSMC, a supplier of Apple chips, is exploring the possibility of building a new plant in Singapore to help tackle a global chip shortage, The Wall Street Journal reports.


TSMC is Apple’s sole chip supplier and is responsible for manufacturing all of the company’s custom silicon chips, such as the A15 Bionic and M1. While orders for Apple’s chips have been prioritized over many other companies, limiting the impact of the shortage on Apple customers, TSMC continues to struggle with global supply chain issues as the world’s largest contract chip maker.

Plans to build a new multi-billion dollar factory in Singapore are still being considered. According to people said to be familiar with the matter, the Singapore government may help fund the construction of the plant.

The proposed production lines will manufacture the chips using seven to 28 nanometer manufacturing processes, which are older production techniques. While Apple’s latest chips are manufactured using TSMC’s five-nanometer process and therefore cannot be made in the new plant in Singapore, the expansion could free up production capacity at other factories where Apple chips can be made and help alleviate global shortages.

In addition to plans for a new plant in Singapore, TSMC is also building a $12 billion plant in Arizona to manufacture five-nanometer chips. TSMC’s main factories are located in Taiwan, but it already operates a plant in Camas, Washington, as well as design centers in Austin, Texas and San Jose, California, meaning that the Arizona facility will be its second manufacturing site in the United States. TSMC is also building a new plant in Japan with the help of the Japanese government and investment from Sony.

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