by Anton Shilov
12/15/2012 | 11:33 AM
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. has finalized the amount of capital expenditures (CapEx) it plans to spend next year. Even though the firm decided to lower the sum by about a billion, it will still invest $9 billion into development of future process technologies and expansion of leading-edge manufacturing capacities.
The world's largest contract manufacturer of chips by revenue has allocated $9 billion to increase its production capacity of advanced chips, said Morris Chang, the chairman and chief executive officer of TSMC at the supply chain management forum, reports MarketWatch web-site. This year the CapEx of TSMC totaled $8.3 billion, up from $6 billion that were first allocated for 2012.
“TSMC’s mission is to be the trusted technology and capacity provider of the global logic IC industry for years to come, and our supplier partners play a key role in helping us fulfill this mission. We believe that by joining with our supplier partners to find innovative new modes of collaboration, we will reap even greater rewards together as we continue to drive Moore’s Law forward,” said Morris Chang.
Thanks to increased CapEx, the company will boost its abilities to manufacture chips using 28nm, 20nm manufacturing technologies and develop 16nm FinFET process. According to some rumors, one of the reasons for the major expansions of capacities is an agreement to manufacture chips for Apple.
TSMC is also constructing phase 3 and phase 4 of Fab 15 in parallel, which will allow it to start production simultaneously and dramatically boost its leading-edge production capacities. In particular, it is expected that TSMC will be able to start commercial manufacturing of chips using 20nm process technology in the second half of 2013. Thanks to simultaneous start of manufacturing at two phases of Fab 15, it will be able to ramp up volumes very quickly. Earlier this year TSMC successfully ramped up phases 1 and 2 of fab 15 and boosted capacities that process 300mm wafers using 28nm process technology to 68 thousand wafers per month.
“TSMC is proud of its ability to rapidly ramp capacity in response to customer demand, and this year’s drive to provide 28nm process is an excellent example of our commitment to customers. We are deeply grateful to the supplier partners that made this achievement possible, and we look forward to even greater success together in the future,” Steve Tso, TSMC’s senior vice president of materials management and risk management.
While TSMC may be behind both Intel Corp. and Samsung Electronics when it comes to general CapEx rankings of semiconductor companies, it is unclear how much exactly Samsung spends on its foundry business and how much does it invest into its in-house semiconductor manufacturing. Therefore, without any doubts, TSMC is the largest foundry investor on the planet.