by Anton Shilov
12/13/2010 | 05:48 PM
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company has added yet another production facility into its expansion plans. The fab will cost around enormous $10 billion and will almost double capacities the company will have when it initiates construction in 2014.
TSMC is fighting vigorously against Globalfoundries, a large contract maker of semiconductors backed by the government of Abu Dhabi, in a bid to remain the world’s largest producer of advanced chips on 300mm wafers. This year the firm initiated expansion of its already operating fab 12 and fab 14 manufacturing facilities and also started to build fab 15, which will start initial production in early 2012. But it looks like the most ambitious project is still to be announced.
Apparently, TSMC intends to build yet another giant production facility called fab 16 that will cost it whopping $10 billion dollars and which TSMC intends to start building in 2014, reports China Economic News Service. Unlike current fab 12 and fab 14, the fab 16 will consist of five phases and will take many years to become fully operational. At present exact details about the fab are not known and TSMC naturally does not comment on market rumours, but it is projected that after the fab 16 is fully utilized, TSMC’s total capacity will be approximately 600 thousand 300mm wafers per month.
Combined capacity of fab 12 and fab 14 is scheduled to exceed 240 thousand 300mm wafers per month by the end of this year. When the fab 15 becomes fully operational, TSMC's combined 300mm manufacturing capacities will be over 340 thousand 300mm wafers per month, which will let the company to maintain its position of the world's largest contract maker of semiconductors.
Since the fab 16 will have capacity comparable to that of all the previous, it will not only be TSMC’s biggest production facility, but will also likely to be the most expensive semiconductor manufacturing foundry in the world. Considering that TSMC is only projected to start construction of fab 16 in 2014, it is highly likely that the facility will be compatible with 450mm wafers and equipment.
Advanced Technology Investment Company, the company that controls Globalfoundries with AMD, announced plan to build a fab for $6 - $7 billion in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates.
TSMC did not comment on the news-story.