The advanced 10-nanometer chips could first be used in mobile devices and other consumer electronics, like game consoles, that demand high-performance and low power consumption.
The plan was included in the latest technology roadmap unveiled by TSMC about one year after the chipmaker attributed its delay in making 450mm wafers, originally scheduled in 2015, to semiconductor equipment suppliers’ postponement in developing advanced equipment for manufacturing amid the industrial slump.
Chipmakers can get 2.5 times more chips from a 450mm wafer than from a 300mm wafer.
Taiwan and South Korea are expected to be the two largest markets for semiconductor equipment this year, with purchases totaling US$9.26 billion and US$11.48 billion respectively, according to SEMI figures.
While in other news, Industry migration to 3D ICs to take place in 2015-16
The industry's gradual migration toward 3D ICs with through-silicon vias (TSV) is unlikely to happen until 2015 or 2016, according to sources at semiconductor companies. Volume production of 3D ICs was previously estimated to take place in 2014.
Leading foundries and backend assembly and test service companies have all devoted much of their R&D efforts to TSV development, and are making progress. The major players are believed to be capable of supporting 3D ICs by 2014, but the emerging technology going into commercial production may not take place until around the 2015-16 timeframe.