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TSMC in Arizona: Why Taiwan's chip titan is betting on the desert

Company's $12bn plant could benefit from ecosystem built by Intel and others

TSMC, the world's biggest contract chipmaker, has started construction on a plant in Arizona.   © Reuters

PALO ALTO, U.S./TAIPEI -- Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. has broken ground on a chipmaking facility in Arizona, just over year after announcing the $12 billion project.

The announcement came as a brief comment by CEO C.C. Wei at an online forum on Wednesday, but it marked an important moment for the world's biggest contract chipmaker -- it is the company's first U.S. factory in two decades, and will be one of just a handful of production sites outside of its home market of Taiwan.

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