Taiwanese chipmaker TSMC has delayed its factory in Arizona, pushing its first US plant back a year to 2025.

The world's largest contract semiconductor manufacturer said that it struggled to find enough skilled workers to open on time.

TSMC Fab 5
– Wikimedia Commons/Peellden

“While we are working to improve the situation, including sending experienced technicians from Taiwan to train the local skilled workers for a short period of time, we expect the production schedule of N4 process technology to be pushed out to 2025,” TSMC chairman Mark Liu said.

The project was first announced in 2020, and then in 2022, TSMC said that it would triple its investment in the giant US plant to $40 billion for two fabs. At the time, the first plant was set to come online in 2024, with the second factory launching in 2026. Up to six fabs could be built on the site.

In 2022, TSMC also shifted its first fab from 5nm to the more advanced 4nm design due to pressure from Apple. The second fab is set to support 3nm semiconductors. The two new fabs are expected to be able to produce around 600,000 wafers per year a full capacity.

TSMC still makes the majority of its most advanced processors in Taiwan, and will continue to do so even after the US fab is fully built.

This month the company reported a 23 percent drop in second quarter net profit, its first year-on-year drop in quarterly profit since 2019.

“We see TSMC well-positioned for a strong growth outlook in 2024,” Goldman Sachs said in a research note. “We believe the US expansion delay is also well-expected by investors.”