Sat, Sep 30, 2017 - Page 1 News List

TSMC unveils plan for world’s first 3-nanometer fab

‘COMPREHENSIVE SUPPLY CHAIN’:The planned fab in the Southern Taiwan Science Park will utilize the firm’s cluster advantage, TSMC said in a filing with the local bourse

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

The Southern Taiwan Science Park (STSP) is pictured in an undated photo. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co announced yesterday that it will build its 3nm chip production factory in the STSP in Tainan.

Photo: Wu Chun-feng, Taipei Times

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電), which makes processors for Apple Inc’s latest iPhones, yesterday said it will build a 3-nanometer chip plant in Tainan, beating rivals in unveiling the world’s first investment plan for a 3-nanometer fab.

The announcement came earlier than the company’s original announcement schedule, ending months of speculation that it might choose the US over Taiwan to build a 3-nanometer fab, given electricity, water and land shortages, as well as strict environmental protection rules, in Taiwan.

The Hsinchu-based chipmaker had previously said it would disclose the fab site in the first half of next year.

Following careful evaluation, “the planned advanced 3-nanomter fab will be located in the Tainan Science Park (台南科學園區), part of the Southern Taiwan Science Park (南部科學工業園), to fully leverage the company’s cluster advantage and the benefit of a comprehensive supply chain,” the company said in a filing with the Taiwan Stock Exchange.

“TSMC recognizes and is grateful for the government’s commitments to resolve any issues, including land, water, electricity and environmental protection,” the company said.

TSMC plans to produce high-performance processors, artificial-intelligence processors and 5G processors using the advanced and expensive 3-nanometer technology.

TSMC did not reveal a detailed road map for the development of its 3-nanometer technology, but it usually takes the company two years to migrate its technologies to the next generation.

The firm makes 10-nanometer processors mostly for smartphone chip designers, including Huawei Technology Inc (華為), and it plans to ramp up 7-nanometer chips next year.

TSMC’s 5-nanometer chips will enter mass production in 2020, the company said.

Premier William Lai (賴清德) yesterday said he appreciates TSMC chairman Morris Chang’s (張忠謀) decision to build the advanced 3-nanometer fab in Taiwan, which supports the government’s push to boost the economy and private investments.

The government hopes that TSMC’s planned fab and a NT$335 billion (US$11 billion) investment unveiled by Winbond Electronics Corp (華邦電) in Kaohsiung will help solicit more investments from local companies, Lai said.

Minister of Science and Technology Chen Liang-gee (陳良基) said he expects the TSMC’s investment to encourage more talent to become involved in the development of new technologies in Taiwan.

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