TSMC Confirms Expansion of 20nm-Capable Gigafab

TSMC Starts to Build Fab 15's Third and Fourth Complexes

by Anton Shilov
12/11/2011 | 06:46 PM

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing has announced that it had started to build it phase 3 of its Fab 15 which will produce chips using 20nm or thinner fabrication processes.


TSMC began construction on Fab 15, phase 1, in July 2010, and completed equipment move-in in mid-2011 with volume production scheduled for early 2012. At the same time, Fab 15, phase 2 started construction in mid-2011 and is expected to begin volume production next year. Fab 15/1 and Fab 15/2 are forecast to generate as much as $3 billion in revenue per year once they enter volume production, and phase 3 will also reach a similar scale in the future.

“With a strong foundation in Taiwan, TSMC continues to fortify its trinity of strengths: technology leadership, manufacturing excellence, and customer trust. We aim to be the most trusted partner for our customers around the world and to form a powerful competitive force in the semiconductor industry with them. What’s more, we hope that our leadership will make Taiwan a pivotal player in global semiconductor industry, and that TSMC continues to be a world-class company that everyone in Taiwan can take pride in. Fab 15, phase 3 plays an important role in our plans for advanced technology development and capacity expansion, and once again demonstrates TSMC’s ability to satisfy customer demands,” said Morris Chang, the chairman and chief exec of TSMC.

TSMC decided to produce chips using 28nm technology process exclusivelly at Fab 15, which will have capacity of more than 100 thousand 300mm wafers per month when fully operational. Construction is divided into four phases, and total investment over years was initially expected to exceed $9.322 billion (NT$300 billion). TSMC began equipment move-in for the phase 1 facility in June 2011 and started volume production of 28nm technology products for customers in October, 2011. The phase 2 of Fab 15 is projected to be completed in Q4 2012 and this will boost total 28nm capacity to reach about 50 thousand wafers per month.

Fab 15/3 will be TSMC’s second facility equipped for 20nm process technology, and the company’s third “green fab” following Fab 12 and Fab 14. Fab 15/3 applies numerous pollution prevention and energy conservation methods, including classification of process wastewater into 25 categories, an effective process water recycling rate of 90%, water use reduction of 62%, and 5% less power consumption than earlier facilities. In addition, Fab 15/3 has a rainwater collection surface of 40 000 square meters, and all collected rainwater is used in landscaping, consuming no water from public utilities.

In addition, TSMC aims to create a benchmark in high-quality green buildings with treatment effectiveness of cleanroom exhaust reaching as high as 98%, innovations in recirculation of waste heat, as well as application solar power and LED lighting technology.

As TSMC continues to expand Fab 15, the company will closely monitor industry trends and make decisions for future capacity expansion at Fab 12 and Fab 14 to strengthen its competitiveness and to support its growth.