Mar. 11, 2008 – Local media reports indicate TSMC, Powerchip, and Vanguard International Semiconductor (in which TSMC has an ownership stake) all have broken ground for new 300mm fabs, with commitments to spend a combined total of $12.5B on expansions.
The Taiwan Economic News speculated that the moves could suggest Taiwan foundries are eyeing a market recovery and preparing expansions to be ready, even after most reduced their 2008 capital investment plans.
TSMC reportedly is ready to invest as much as $5B on fourth and fifth phases of development at its Fab 12 300mm facility in the Hsinchu Science Park, its fourth 300mm fab, to work on R&D of 32nm, 22nm and 15nm process technologies. Production is expected to take 1-2 years, and eventually involve an extra 3000 workers.
Powerchip, meanwhile, plans to build its fourth and fifth 300mm fabs also at the Hsinchu park. The former is slated to be completed next year with maximum output of 60,000 WPM, starting pilot runs with 50nm processes, according to the Taiwan Economic News. The fifth site (no schedule provided) will have similar output capacity, the paper noted.
Vanguard, meanwhile, will build its first 300mm fab at the park, the Taiwan paper notes. The firm has seen a surge in 300mm demand, since buying Winbond’s 200mm fab a few months ago.