May 15, 2020
Laura Ockel, Unsplash
Good morning! This Friday, what's going on with TSMC's Arizona investment, a new U.S. block on Huawei, and why tech salaries might start to fall. Want Index in your inbox each morning? Subscribe here.
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Yesterday, Taiwanese chipmaker TSMC announced that it would build a new fab in Arizona. It plans to spend $12 billion over nine years on the factory — a big coup for America. Coupled with new U.S. rules this morning on supplying Huawei, it marks a seismic change in the U.S.-China relationship.
And so they've tried to fix that. Earlier this week, The Wall Street Journal reported that the government was in talks with both Intel and TSMC about building new commercial foundries in the U.S.
Some questions remain, though. For a start, is this just a token investment?
Still — this is a big move. And with "over 1,600 high-tech professional jobs" set to be created, it's good news for tech workers, too.
There's been a lot of chatter recently about how tech workers are going to escape the high rents of San Francisco, fleeing to the countryside to live a life of luxury instead. But as my colleague Mike Murphy points out, that life of luxury might be a bit ambitious. Would companies really pay the same salaries if your cost of living is lower? Opening up the hiring pool to the entire country — or even the entire world — will likely put immense downward pressure on wages, especially when unemployment is so high. Tech workers who want to leave the Valley should be careful what they wish for.
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