February 27, 2007 – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), recent beneficiary of relaxed government regulations regarding transfer of process technologies to mainland China, will likely utilize used equipment from NXP Semiconductor in order to triple the output from its 200mm, 30,000 WPM capacity site in Shanghai, according to the Taiwan Economic News.
Citing unnamed chip-equipment suppliers, the papers analyzed the field of European chipmakers currently running 200mm operations, and pointed to NXP as the likely source for the tools, since the firm is currently pursuing a plan to streamline its fab assets. A deal to purchase the used equipment could cost $800-$1000 million, the paper noted.
TSMC’s Shanghai operation, upgrading from 0.25-micron to 0.18-micron process technologies per government approval, is slated to bump capacity to as much as 90,000 wafers/month capacity, in order to meet strong interest from customers including Broadcom, Spreadtrum, CSR and OmniVision, according to the paper.
TSMC isn’t the only foundry in China looking to the used tool market to add capacity — days ago Japanese DRAM firm Elpida Memory Inc. said it has agreed to sell 200mm wafer processing equipment from its Hiroshima facility to Cension Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp. in Chengdu, where it will be operated by domestic chipmaker Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. (SMIC).