Fri, Jun 22, 2018 - Page 11 News List

TSMC eyes start of 5-nanometer mass production

Staff writer, with CNA

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電), the world’s largest contract chipmaker, plans to start mass production using the advanced 5-nanometer manufacturing process late next year or in early 2020, CEO and vice chairman C.C. Wei (魏哲家) said yesterday.

The company is to spend NT$750 billion (US$24.75 billion) to build a plant in the Southern Taiwan Science Park (南部科學工業園) in Tainan, construction of which started earlier this year, Wei said at a TSMC technology forum in Hsinchu.

The plant’s annual production is expected to surpass 1 million 12-inch silicon wafers, he said.

TSMC has over the years continued to invest in personnel and research and development, Wei said.

As of the end of last year, it employed 6,145 researchers, a nearly three-fold increase from a decade earlier, with research funding last year totaling US$2.652 billion, he said.

TSMC is one of the only two companies in the world that is capable of making a fresh investment in the area, he added.

The firm earlier this year began mass production on the 7-nanometer process, products of which are to be mainly used in artificial intelligence applications, graphics processing units, 5G telecommunications equipment and application processors, TSMC chief technology officer Jack Sun (孫元成) said.

The company’s total output for this year is forecast to reach 12 million 12-inch equivalent wafers, with products on the 7-nanometer and 10-nanometer processes to double from last year, he said.

TSMC shares yesterday rose 0.22 percent to end at NT$226.5 in Taipei trading. For this week, TSMC has dropped 1.95 percent from its closing price of NT$231 on Friday last week.

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