Even though Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. recently signed a pact with Intel Corp. and Samsung Electronics regarding standardization of tools that are used in wafer manufacturing, the contract maker of semiconductors has no concrete plans to build a fab that operates 450mm wafers.
“TSMC has no timetable or concrete plans to build a 450mm fab. […] The wafer fab facilities currently under construction at site on the intersection of Park Avenue 3 and Park Avenue 5 of the Hsinchu Science Park are phases 4 and 5 of TSMC Fab 12. These are 300mm wafer facilities and will serve as the company’s research and development centers and initial production site for advanced technologies,” the world’s top contract makers of semiconductors said in a statement with Taiwan Stock Exchange.
Earlier this week Intel Corp., Samsung Electronics and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. announced that they had reached an agreement on the need for industry-wide collaboration to target a transition to larger, 450mm-sized wafers starting in 2012.
TSMC further explained that the press release issued by Intel, Samsung, and TSMC does not mean a three-way alliance.
The talks regarding transition to 450mm wafers have been online since 2004, if not earlier; however, there are numerous manufacturers of chips who claim that 450mm wafers are not needed in 2012. For example, Advanced Micro Devices claims that improving 300mm facilities can provide a lot of benefits without tremendous investments into the new format of wafer manufacturing.