New York state has emerged as a chipmaking hot spot -- hot enough to fuel the latest speculation about Apple's plans to push for more U.S.-based manufacturing.
In a story on Tuesday, the Albany Times Union speculated that Apple may be behind a push to set up a chipmaking facility in upstate New York.
An "undisclosed company searching for a site for a chip [plant] could be a major supplier to Apple for its popular iPhone and iPad devices," Larry Rulison of the Times Union wrote.
And that undisclosed company? Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) -- the largest contract chip manufacturer in the world.
But let's keep a few things in mind.
Getting TSMC to set up shop in New York would take years: So, any U.S.-based Apple-related production would be in the distant future -- if at all.
GlobalFoundries is already there: The chipmaker recently started up a massive multibillion-dollar chip factory in Malta, N.Y. that aims to make the same kind of chips that Apple wants -- that is, advanced processors based on the ARM design. While it may not be ready to make those advanced chips today, it could be in the future.
Samsung too: Despite the legal wrangling with Apple, Samsung does a pretty good job of making chips for Apple's iPad and iPhone at its U.S.-based plant in Austin, Texas. And that plant was put in the U.S. originally to cater -- at least in part -- to Apple.
Don't forget Intel: And then there's Intel. Apple could always turn to the world's premier chipmaker, which has more than a few plants in the U.S. Any deal with Intel would potentially be big enough to preclude TSMC.
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