Citing urgent demand for advanced 300mm capacity, TSMC is to start construction of a new fab, Fab 14, Phase 4, after the Chinese New Year, while Fab 12, Phase 5 expansion is now set for tool install and initial ramp-up in the third quarter of 2010. The new fab is the first 300mm fab officially announced in over a year.
Fab 12, Phase 5 will be used for volume production at the 28nm node as well as also serve as the base for process R&D for 22nm and more advanced process technologies. TSMC said that R&D for 28nm and 22nm process technologies was being handled at both, Fab 12, Phase 1 and 2 facilities. The volume production aspect will start in the fourth quarter of 2010.
TSMC said that the cleanroom was 22,700 square meters with 2 stories underground, and 4 stories above ground. The total building area was said to be 83,600 square meters.
“TSMC has always striven to improve its trinity of strengths – technology leadership, manufacturing excellence, and customer partnership – in order to provide steadfast support for our customers and to join with them to forge a powerful competitive force in the semiconductor industry,” commented Dr. Mark Liu, TSMC's Senior Vice President of Operations. “The topping of our Fab 12, Phase 5 facility, and our plans to rapidly move in equipment and begin volume production there in the third quarter of this year is another example of our competitiveness in providing steadfast support for customers.”
However, TSMC did not say what the timeline and scale of the Fab 14, Phase 4 facility would be. In previous phased expansions, groundbreaking to tool install has taken approximately 10 to 12 months.
TSMC noted that the previous Fab 12, Phase 4 expansion resulted in volume production beginning in the in the third quarter of 2009, while construction began on Phase 5 at the end of 2009.
The latest round of fab capacity expansions, will lead to approximately 3,000 semiconductor-related staff, primarily engineers, being recruited.