TSMC Confirms Plans to Start Low-Volume 20nm Manufacturing Next Year

TSMC Expects to Produce 20nm Chips Only in Low Volumes

by Anton Shilov
07/22/2012 | 01:11 PM

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company reiterated plans to start making chips using 20nm technology, but admitted that it would be a low-volume production. The head of TSMC believes that the world's largest contract semiconductor manufacturing will start to make chips using 20nm technology in volume only in 2014.


"We will start some production of 20nm next year, but the small scale, very low, what we would call a risk type of production basically. The 2014 will be a ramp year for 20nm SoCs," said Morris Chang, chief executive officer of TSMC.

TSMC plans to offer only one version of 20nm technology that fits to different applications, from ultra-mobile chips that power smartphones to ultra high-performance that are used on graphics cards.

Nowadays Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company offers four versions of 28nm process technology: 28LP (poly/SiON) for low-power cost-efficient chips, 28HPL (HKMG) for low-power applications, 28HP (HKMG) for high-performance chip designs and 28HPM (HKMG) that combines elements of high-performance and low-power process technologies and is mostly designed for microprocessors for tablets, superphones and notebooks. With 20nm, TSMC will not give any choice and there will be only one option.

TSMC also confirmed plans to use FinFET technology with its 16nm-generation of manufacturing processes in 2015.

"We believe that the 16nm FinFET will ramp in, perhaps the second half of 2015," said Mr. Chang.