Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.'s planned semiconductor fab in Arizona is three to six months behind schedule.

Nikkei Asia reports that a mixture of labor shortages, Covid-19 spikes, and construction licensing issues have pushed the project back.

TSMC Fab 5
– Wikimedia Commons/Peellden

TSMC had hoped to start moving chip-making equipment into the fabs this September, but now expects to do so in February or March 2023, extending the time before the fab can help alleviate the ongoing semiconductor supply crisis.

Even once the equipment is installed, it can take a year to get it to the point where the fabs are ready to manufacture chips.

The fab, announced in May 2020 and funded with generous state grants, is also TSMC's first advanced site in the US, which may have added to delays. In its homeland of Taiwan, the company is generally able to start moving equipment in after 12-15 months.

Rival Intel is also planning a $20 billion expansion of its Chandler, Arizona, fab campus. Located just 50km apart, the two projects are competing for resources and staff.

"Arizona's labor pool will remain strained in 2022 as companies continue to seek qualified talent amidst record-low unemployment," pro-business lobbying group the Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation said earlier this month.

Get a weekly roundup of North America news, direct to your inbox.