TSMC begins construction of new $9.3b foundry, wants to sate our constant hunger for chips

TSMC might not necessarily be a household name, but the product of its labors tends to be all over home electronics. Aiming to keep that trend going, the Taiwanese chipmaker has just broken ground on its third 300mm wafer plant, located in Taichung's Central Taiwan Science Park. The new Fab 15 will have a capacity of over 100,000 wafers per month -- earning it the prestige of being described as a Gigafab -- and once operational it'll create 8,000 new skilled jobs in the area. Semiconductors built there will also be suitably modern, with 40nm and 28nm production facilities being installed, and lest you worry about such trivial things as the environment, TSMC says it's doing a few things to minimize the foundry's energy usage and greenhouse gas emission. Then again, if you're going to spend nearly $10 billion on something, would you expect anything less?

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TSMC Begins Construction on GigafabTM In Central Taiwan

Issued by: TSMC
Issued on: 2010/07/16

Taichung, Taiwan, R.O.C. – July 16, 2010 –TSMC (TWSE: 2330, NYSE: TSM) today held a groundbreaking ceremony in Taichung's Central Taiwan Science Park for Fab 15, TSMC's third 12-inch (300mm) GigafabTM and an important milestone in the company's pledge to expand investment in Taiwan.

The groundbreaking ceremony was conducted by TSMC Chairman and CEO Dr. Morris Chang. "Science Parks have played a critical role in the development of Taiwan's high-tech industry. They have also provided important support to TSMC as we grew to become a leading global semiconductor company with its roots in Taiwan," Dr. Chang said. "Over the past two decades, TSMC has flourished in the Hsinchu and Tainan science parks, and our groundbreaking for Fab 15 today sets the foundation for TSMC to reach new heights."

"TSMC has worked unceasingly to improve its technology leadership, manufacturing excellence, and customer partnership to join together with our fabless and IDM customers to forge a powerful competitive force in the semiconductor industry. This groundbreaking for Fab 15 in the Central Taiwan Science Park shows our commitment to providing our customers with advanced technology and satisfying their capacity needs. And as capacity in Fab 15 grows, it will create 8,000 high-quality job opportunities, demonstrating TSMC's dedication to corporate social responsibility," Dr. Chang added.

Fab 15 will be TSMC's third GigafabTM, or fab with capacity of more than 100,000 12-inch wafers per month, and will also be TSMC's second GigafabTM equipped for 28nm technology. Construction will be divided into four phases, and total investment over the next several years is expected to exceed NT$300 billion. TSMC is scheduled to begin equipment move-in for the Phase 1 facility in June 2011, with volume production of 40nm and 28nm technology products for customers in the first quarter of 2012. More advanced process nodes will be introduced as TSMC's technology development continues to advance.

In addition, to meet strong customer demand as we build Fab 15, TSMC will continue to expand capacity at Fab 12 in Hsinchu and Fab 14 in Tainan. Combined capacity of Fab 12 and Fab 14 currently exceeds 200,000 12-inch wafers per month, and is scheduled to exceed 240,000 12-inch wafers per month by the end of this year, underscoring our commitment to providing steadfast support to our customers.

Fab 15 will be TSMC's next "green fab" following Fab 12 and Fab 14, incorporating green concepts in energy conservation and pollution control in its design, including a process water conservation rate of 85%, reclamation of rainwater, recirculation and reuse of general exhaust heat, and development of solar power generation and LED lighting applications. TSMC's goal is to reach zero emissions of greenhouse gases.

Fab 15 Background Information

- Total area of site: 18.4 hectares
- Type of project: TSMC's third 12-inch GigafabTM with two fab buildings and one office building.
- Building area: 430,000 square meters
- Clean room area: 104,000 square meters (approximately 14 soccer fields)