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TSMC fires back at analysts

Posted: 30 Jan 2012 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:CMOS? manufacturing process?

After analysts have said that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd (TSMC) is having yield problems with its 28nm CMOS manufacturing processes, the foundry giant is now firing back.

Maria Marced, president of TSMC Europe, repeated what she has been saying before and other TSMC executives; that defect density reduction is on track for the 28nm node and ahead of where TSMC was with 40/45nm process technology at an equivalent stage in its roll out.

Marced did acknowledge that each process node roll out has problems but said TSMC engineers rise to the challenges. "Everything is getting more difficult. We have learned the lessons on 40nm. We have put engineering teams on every tapeout to drive down defect density and drive up yields," she said. "It will be more difficult at 20nm again, but still we see very good momentum."

Marced emphasized that momentum by saying that TSMC now has 36 ICs in production and 132 tapeouts in the pipeline. "The momentum on 28nm is three times what it was on 40/45nm," she said.

Wafer production on 28nm contributed 2 percent of TSMC's revenues in the fourth quarter of 2011, corresponding to about 70 million in sales, Marced said. It is predicted to go up to 5 percent of TSMC's revenues in the first quarter of 2012 or about 170 million. And for all of 2012 TSMC expects 28nm wafer production to contribute 10 percent to revenues.

For a process nodethat some analysts have said has yield problemsto contribute 70 million going on 170 million worth of business per quarter, is "not bad" according to Marced.

- Peter Clarke
??EE Times

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