NEW YORK, Dec 1 — Apple announced it will be the first and largest customer of a US$2 billion (RM9.3 billion) chip packaging plant Amkor Technology is building in the US state of Arizona, reported German news agency (dpa).

The partnership supports the tech major’s efforts to manufacture more of its products in the United States amid geopolitical tensions and supply chain disruptions.

With its new facility, Amkor, a provider of semiconductor packaging and test services, said it is enabling a more resilient US semiconductor supply chain.

The new facility in Peoria, Arizona, which is expected to employ around 2,000 people upon completion, will process Apple chips produced at the nearby Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co, or TSMC fab, where Apple is also the largest customer.

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Upon completion, the new facility would be the largest outsourced advanced packaging facility in the US.

It is expected that the first phase of the manufacturing plant would be ready for production within the next two to three years.

Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer, said late yesterday: “Apple is deeply committed to the future of American manufacturing, and we’ll continue to expand our investment here in the United States... Apple and Amkor have worked together for more than a decade packaging chips used extensively in all Apple products, and we are thrilled that this partnership will now deliver the largest OSAT advanced packaging facility in the United States.”

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Arizona Senator Mark Kelly added that Amkor’s US$2 billion project will create good-paying jobs, strengthen local economy, and help protect national security, as well as help reduce dependence on other countries in the microchip supply chain.

Apple in 2021 had committed to invest US$430 billion in the US economy over five years.

Amkor further said it has applied for funding for the new facility from Chips and Science Act, which was established to boost US competitiveness, innovation, and national security in the semiconductor industry. — Bernama-dpa