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TSMC Triples 28nm Process Capacity in Q3

2012/08/21 | By Ken Liu

Taipei, Aug. 21, 2012 (CENS)--Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) has installed three times more 28nm process capacity so far in the third quarter than in the second quarter along with yield rate of the leading-edge capacity increasing at its factories and its Fab 15 starting to provide the process.

Industry executives pointed out that more of the capacity installation means the pure foundry giant is preparing for seasonal demand surges.

In the first half of this year, TSMC spent over US$3.6 billion on expansion, with 28nm capacity being the primary expansion target. As the company has set capital expenditure for this year at US$8-8.5 billion, the company still has around US$5 billion available in the second half for adding leading-edge capacities.

Based on the company's expansion pace, industry executives estimated TSMC will be able to ease shortage of its 28nm process supplies in the fourth quarter.

According to capital-equipment suppliers, TSMC's yield rate of 28nm process production has reached over 80% after six months of adjustments, making the company's 28nm production yield rate the highest of all first-tier chipmakers in the world.

So far this quarter, the company has increased 28nm capacity to around 100,000 300mm wafers a month, three times the 25,000 wafers recorded in the second quarter.

The company's Fab 15 foundry module, which is TSMC's primary 28nm process tool located in the Central Taiwan Science Park, is estimated to end the third quarter with installation of 69,000 wafers of 28nm process capacity, which is likely to further increase to 135,000 wafers in the fourth quarter.

According to industry executives, due to shortage of 28nm process capacity in the first half of this year, many of TSMC's customers turned to other suppliers for the capacity. Now, they have returned to TSMC for the capacity in light of significant increase of the capacity at the foundry.