TSMC breaks ground on final phase of chip factory

The factory's third phase will produce chips using 28 nanometer manufacturing technology

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) broke ground Friday on the third and final phase of its "Fab 15" chip factory, with the newest phase geared to make power-efficient and high-performance microprocessors using 20-nanometer production technology.

The new process will be used to build CPUs, GPUs (graphic processing units), and application processors, said Michael Kramer, a TSMC spokesman. These products are likely to go into power-saving tablets, PCs, smartphones, and other devices. TSMC, however, declined to say what products the chips will go into, as the company does not have permission from its customers.

The company is the world's largest contract chip maker, with customers including Nvidia and Qualcomm. It started building Fab 15 in July 2010, and estimates it will invest a total of NT$300 billion (US$10.1 billion) in the factory. The company had originally planned to build it in four phases, but decided to combine the last two phases of construction, according to TSMC spokeswoman Elizabeth Sun.

The company will start producing chips with 20-nm manufacturing technology in the third quarter of next year, Sun said. TSMC and other chip makers are constantly working to improve manufacturing processes. This allows them to place more transistors on their chips, making them run more efficiently and with higher performance.

TSMC is already building chips with its 28-nm manufacturing technology. In the last quarter, the chips accounted for 2 percent of the company's revenues. TSMC expects that number to grow in the coming year as sales of tablets and smartphones continue to rise.

Fab 15's first phase, which will manufacture chips using 28-nm technology, is set to go into volume production in early 2012. Chips that will be produced at the factory include GPUs and CPUs.

TSMC is also working on building chips using 14-nm, 10-nm and 7-nm manufacturing technology, but it's too early to say when the chips will go into production, Sun said.

Fab 15's second phase is still under construction, and TSMC had yet to decide whether it will be equipped to build chips using the 28-nm or 20-nm manufacturing technology. Once all phases enter volume production, the company's Fab 15 factory is estimated to generate $6 billion in revenue per year.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags tsmcComponentsprocessors

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Michael Kan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?