Another Major US Chip Plant Delays Mass Production Until After 2024 Election

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by Tyler Durden
Tuesday, Dec 26, 2023 - 04:00 PM

President Biden has made revitalizing domestic chip production a critical strategic priority, supported by tens of billions of dollars in Chips Act subsidies. Despite this, there have been postponements in mass production plans for two different chipmakers, potentially hindering Biden's aim for new plants operational by next year. 

The latest mass production delay is at Samsung Electronics Co.'s $17 billion chip plant in Taylor, Texas. Bloomberg cited a new report from Seoul Economic Daily, which quoted a speech from President Choi Siyoung of Samsung at a recent foundry business industry event in San Francisco. 

Samsung previously targeted a mass production schedule for the second half of 2024, but now that timeframe has been shifted to 2025. A spokesperson for the company could not confirm the mass production schedule. 

In July, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. revealed its mass production schedule was postponed from late 2024 until 2025 due to a shortage of skilled workers. 

"We are working on improving this by sending skilled technical workers from Taiwan to the US," Liu said on a conference call after earnings in July. 

Besides a shortage of workers, Bloomberg noted, "US environmental permit issues and the Biden administration's slowness in delivering financial support have been plaguing domestic chip projects."

Also, chipmaker ASML Holding NV recently warned that lawmakers in Washington, DC, do not estimate the complexity of building new factories.

"People don't seem to realize that when we start building those fabs across the globe now and are everywhere, that skill has been refined over the last couple of decades in only a few places on the planet — predominantly in Taiwan and in Korea and a bit in China.

"Getting access to the requisite skills and skilled workers to keep the construction plan on time is a challenge," Peter Wennink, chief executive officer of ASML, said earlier this year. 

News that Samsung and TSMC are delaying mass production starts until after the presidential election cycle will be frustrating for the Biden administration because it has championed its Chip Act to rebuild domestic chip production.