TSMC to begin producing chips on 5nm process late next year

2018/06/21 17:24:38 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
TSMC to begin producing chips on 5nm process late next year

Taipei, June 21 (CNA) Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), the world's largest contract chipmaker, is slated to start mass production using the advanced 5 nanometer (nm) manufacturing process in late 2019 or early 2010, Chief Executive and Vice Chairman C.C. Wei (魏哲家) said Thursday.

Speaking at a TSMC technology forum in Hsinchu, Wei said the company will pour in NT$750 billion (about US$25 billion) to build a plant in the Southern Taiwan Science Park in Tainan, construction of which already started earlier this year, Wei said.

Annual production of the plant is estimated to surpass 1 million 12-inch silicon wafers, he noted.

Wei said TSMC has through the years continued to invest in manpower and research and development.

As of the end of last year, it employed 6,145 researchers, nearly a three-fold increase in a decade, with research funds for 2017 totaling US$2.652 billion, he explained.

According to Wei, TSMC is one of the only two companies in the world that is capable of making fresh investment in this area.

Meanwhile, TSMC has already begun mass production of 7nm process this year, products of which will be mainly used in artificial intelligence, graphics processing units, 5G and application processors, said Chief Technology Officer Jack Sun (孫元成).

For 2018, TSMC's total output is forecast to reach 12 million 12-inch equivalent wafers, with products of 7nm and 10nm process to double from 2017, he said.

(By Chang Chien-chung and Flor Wang)

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