by Anton Shilov
08/06/2013 | 11:48 PM
Morris Chang, chief executive officer and chairman of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., said that his company will initiate volume production of chips using 20nm process technology at its Fab 14/phase 5 manufacturing facility in February, 2013. The company will also be producing chips using 20nm fabrication process at its Fab 15/phases 3 and 4 starting from May, 2014.
“On 20nm [process technology], we see little competition. The risk production has started in the first quarter  and the volume production will start in early 2014 next year […] the equipment [is] already being installed, the equipment [is] streaming in and [is] being installed. […] The volume production will start in early 2014,” said Morris Chang, the head of TSMC, during quarterly conference call with financial analysts.
TSMC began to build the phase 5 of its Fab 14 in early April, 2012. The construction of the facility is now complete and the equipment has been being installed since April. It typically takes from six to twelve months to fully equip a semiconductor fab. The Fab 15/phases 3 and 4 will initiate production using 20nm process tech sometimes in May, according to Mr. Chang. Eventually, TSMC will also make chips using the 20nm technology at its fab 12/phase 6.
It is believed that a lot of equipment that will be used for making 20nm chips will be used to make semiconductors using 16nm FinFET manufacturing technology sometimes in 2015.
“On 16nm FinFET, it will start volume production about one year after 20nm SOC, in other words, early in 2015. Our R&D progress on 16 FinFET is very good, new improvement, is better than plan, and is better than 20nm a year ago. […] We have been working with several major customers and many tape-outs, many product tape-outs are,” said Mr. Chang.