TSMC Begins Fab 15 Phase 3 to Help Expand 20nm Fabrication Facilities

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing, more commonly known as TSMC, has confirmed that production of its Fab 15 facility is now entering the third phase, with a view to increasing its capacity for producing chips based on a process size below 20 nanometres.

TSMC began construction on Fab 15, Phase 1, in July 2010, and completed equipment move-in in mid-2011 with volume production scheduled for early 2012. At the same time, Fab 15, Phase 2 started construction in mid-2011 and is expected to begin volume production next year. Fab 15 Phases 1 and 2 are forecast to generate as much as $3 billion in revenue per year once they enter volume production, and Phase 3 will also reach a similar scale in the future.

Fab 15 currently employs approximately 1,400 employees, and is expected to create a total of 8,000 high-quality job opportunities, developing talent for Taiwan's semiconductor industry and bringing more high value-added growth opportunities to TSMC.

The groundbreaking ceremony was led by TSMC chair Dr. Morris Chang. "With a strong foundation in Taiwan, TSMC continues to fortify its trinity of strengths: technology leadership, manufacturing excellence, and customer trust," Chang said. "We aim to be the most trusted partner for our customers around the world and to form a powerful competitive force in the semiconductor industry with them.

"What's more, we hope that our leadership will make Taiwan a pivotal player in global semiconductor industry, and that TSMC continues to be a world-class company that everyone in Taiwan can take pride in. Fab 15, Phase 3 plays an important role in our plans for advanced technology development and capacity expansion, and once again demonstrates TSMC's ability to satisfy customer demands."

Fab 15, Phase 3 will be TSMC's second so-called 'GigaFab' equipped for 20nm process technology, and the company's third 'green fab' following Fab 12 and Fab 14. Fab 15, Phase 3 applies numerous pollution prevention and energy conservation methods, including classification of process wastewater into 25 categories, an effective process water recycling rate of 90 per cent, water use reduction of 62 per cent, and 5 per cent less power consumption than earlier facilities.

In addition, Fab 15, Phase 3 has a rainwater collection surface of 40,000 square meters, and all collected rainwater is used in landscaping, consuming no water from public utilities. In addition, we aim to create a benchmark in high-quality green buildings with treatment effectiveness of cleanroom exhaust reaching as high as 98 per cent, innovations in recirculation of waste heat, as well as application solar power and LED lighting technology. The construction of Fab 15, Phase 3 will continue to push forward the development of green factories by creating a green environment with comprehensive functionality.

The company has not, however, confirmed whether it plans to expand its Fab 12 and Fab 15 facilities, beyond a statement claiming: "As TSMC continues to expand Fab 15 in the Central Taiwan Science Park, the company will closely monitor industry trends and make decisions for future capacity expansion at Fab 12 in Hsinchu and Fab 14 in Tainan to strengthen its competitiveness and to support its growth."