TSMC runs with 0.18?m process

TSMC runs with 0.18?m process
David Manners TSMC, the world’s leading silicon foundry, says its 0.18?m process is now up and running. The company has prototyped two 0.18?m designs which are about to go into production, has six more designs in tape-out this quarter, and expects 30 tape-outs in the second half. Overall it will ship 30,000 to 40,000 wafers on 0.18 micron this year. “Next year we will ship 300-400,000 wafers on 0.18 micron,” TSMC’s European general manger Andy Shen, told EW. The process is currently being run in TSMC’s Fab 4 and will be transferred to Fab 3, Fab 5, to Wafertech in the US, and to its Fab 6 – it’s first in the southern Taiwanese city of Tainan – which is to ship first silicon in Q1 2000. The foundry business has been picking up. “All our eight inch fabs are at full capacity,” said Shen, “we’re in discussion with a fab in Taiwan for sub-contract fab.” TSMC’s copper process will be available in the third quarter offering a 125 per cent speed improvement over aluminium, according to Shen, but the company has no plans to move to Silicon on Insulator (SOI) wafers or a Silicon Germanium (SiGe) process. Shen is expecting margins to improve over the 30 per cent level of 1998 and anticipates wafer shipments increasing by 30 per cent. TSMC eyed Siemens’ fab
If only Siemens’ Tyneside fab closure had been delayed a year, TSMC of Taiwan, the world’s leading silicon foundry, might have bought it. “If the announcement (Aug 1998) had been twelve months later, we’d have bought it,” said TSMC’s European general manager Andy Shen. An upturn in the logic market means TSMC is now fully booked out and is looking for extra capacity.

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