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Samsung Delays Mass Production at New Texas Factory to 2025, Mirroring TSMC’s Arizona Setback

Production Delays in U.S. Factories of Samsung and TSMC Highlight Challenges in Expanding Domestic Chip Manufacturing
South Korea
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Samsung has announced a delay in mass production at its new chip factory in Tyler, Texas, to 2025, a move echoing a similar postponement by its rival Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) at its Arizona facility. Reported by the Seoul Economic Daily, this decision comes as a setback to the Biden administration’s efforts to bolster domestic semiconductor production.

Samsung Foundry Business President Choi Siyoung, speaking at an industry event in San Francisco, indicated that the $17 billion wafer fabrication plant initially slated to start production in the second half of 2024, now targets 2025. A Samsung spokesperson stated that the company could not confirm a specific mass production schedule at this time.

This delay follows TSMC’s decision to push back its Arizona factory’s production start to 2025, attributed to the scarcity of skilled construction workers and machine installation technicians. These delays represent a significant challenge to President Biden’s chip plan, which aims to increase U.S. chip production and mitigate future supply chain disruptions. The 2021 chip shortage notably resulted in substantial revenue losses for U.S. companies.

Moreover, the postponements mean that these multi-billion dollar factories may not commence production until after the next U.S. presidential election. Factors such as slow financial subsidies, environmental protection licenses, labor issues, and other investment challenges have hampered these chip projects’ progress.

In contrast, the Biden administration’s chip bill, pledging $100 billion in support for new U.S. semiconductor factories, has seen slow subsidy disbursement and numerous restrictions on factory establishment. This approach starkly contrasts with Japan’s rapid subsidy progress in semiconductor investment. For instance, TSMC’s Kumamoto factory construction in Japan is progressing smoothly, with mass production of 22/28nm and 12/16nm process wafers, totaling 55,000 wafers per month, anticipated by the end of 2024.

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