TSMC delays 450mm wafer production to 2018

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company says it plans to start production of the next-gen wafers in 2018, instead of 2015.
Written by Jamie Yap, Contributor

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) says it will start production of next-generation 450mm wafers in 2018, instead of the originally scheduled 2015.

Taipei Times reported Wednesday TSMC last year said it planned to start production in 2015. The company explained the delay was due to semiconductor equipment suppliers postponing the development of advanced manufacturing equipment against the economic slump.

J.K. Wang, vice president of TSMC's operation of 300mm factories, said in the report 450mm wafers would help solve the problem of rising costs in making advanced chips. This would also allow TSMC to provide affordably-priced 10 nanometer (nm) chips with FinFET transistors.

10-nanometer chips can be used in mobile devices and various consumer electronics such as game consoles, that require high performance but low power consumption, he said. FinField-effect-transistors are three-dimensional, fin-based multigate transistor architecture which allows for space-optimized, energy-efficient transistors design.

Wang noted that cost, rather than technology, constraints were prompting chipmakers to shift to next-gen chips, and added that a 450mm wafer can produce 2.5 times more chips than a 300mm wafer.

According to Wang, TSMC plans to build a production line to make 450mm wafers between 2016 and 2017, when semiconductor company ASML Holding readies its equipment in 2015. The company is also looking into building production lines in Taiwan's Greater Taichung metropolitan area, he added.

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