ASU's major role in Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company coming to Arizona

Arizona State University played a crucial role in bringing the microelectronics industry, specifically Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, to Phoenix.

"One of the key reasons why the president is here, Arizona has become ground zero for semiconductors," said Kyle Squires, dean of Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State. describes a semiconductor as "a substance that has specific electrical properties that enable it to serve as a foundation for computers and other electronic devices."

ASU boasts the largest college of engineering and technology in the country.

Squires says they have students, faculty, and staff involved in every aspect of this semiconductor factory. Some are based in Taiwan and others are set to work in Arizona – a partnership that has been in the works since 2019.

"You’ll often hear about electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, material science, computer science, chemical engineering, just to give you a sense of the kinds of disciplines that are involved," Squires said.

MORE: President Biden to visit TSMC's Arizona plant on Dec. 6

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company needs the talent and the ideas in all these areas to make its mission successful, supplying the tiniest technology that makes your iPhone, your TV, and your computer operate.

"There are several effects. One is the literally thousands of jobs that is the individuals, the engineers, the high value, well paying jobs, working at TSMC," Squires said. "Then there is the second effect, all the ripple effects throughout other parts of the economy that would be benefited, by this fab, these engineers being employed at TSMC."

He says TSMC choosing Arizona as its American home base makes the state more attractive to other companies like it, effectively building out the high-tech landscape within the Valley over time.

"It begins to solidify Arizona's position as a leader. It basically elevates ASU, it elevates our engineering college. We are achieving leadership in all of these problem spaces that the president will be talking about," Squires said.

Tech jobs aren't the only jobs that will be a product of TSMC coming to Arizona. The company will need to fill various kinds of jobs and will offer courses to become trained.