Taiwanese chip shop opens new fab

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSMC) has opened its latest chip fab earlier than expected, due it says, to surging demands.

The company - which makes silicon for some of the world's biggest tech companies including Nvidia, AMD, Texas Instruments and Qualcomm - opened phase five of its Fab 12 complex in Hsinchu province earlier today. The facility, which covers 83,000 square metres, has a clean room the size of three football fields, and will house more than 4,500 employees.

In addition to volume production of 28nm products, Fab 12, Phase 5 will also serve as the base for research and development of 22nm and more advanced process technologies. Currently, TSMC is conducting R&D for 28nm and 22nm process technologies at its Fab 12, Phase 1 and 2 facilities, and will hand 28nm technology to the Phase 5 facility for volume production in the fourth quarter of this year.

TSMC will also soon begin construction on Fab 14, Phase 4 located at its Tainan site. Groundbreaking is scheduled following the end of Chinese New Year, with the facility complete and ready for equipment move-in at the end of this year.