Taipei, Wednesday, April 16, 2014 12:25 (GMT+8)
partly cloudy
Taipei
27°C
TSMC 28nm ramp-up within expectations, says Digitimes Research
Jessie Shen, DIGITIMES, Taipei [Tuesday 17 April 2012]

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) could ramp up its 28nm production capacity at a much faster pace than older 40/45nm and 65nm process nodes, according to Digitimes Research analyst Nobunaga Chai. To make such speculation about yield problems with TSMC's 28nm processes is unfair, said Chai, adding that the foundry is actually improving the process yield rate within its expectations.

When TSMC started ramping up its 40/45nm production capacity, it took 5-6 quarters to have the process contribute 10% to company revenues, Chai pointed out. As for 65nm, the period was shorter but still longer than three quarters allowing the process to account for 10% of TSMC's revenues, Chai said.

The newer 28nm technology started generating revenues in the fourth quarter of 2011, and the sales ratio is estimated at about 5% in the following quarter, Chai noted. It is anticipated to see TSMC significantly ramp up its 28nm production capacity later in 2012, Chai believes.

TSMC's current yield rate on its 28nm processes is not poor at all, but maybe has not yet reached a certain level that is able to persuade the company to expand capacity aggressively, Chai indicated. Despite being cautious, TSMC's 28nm expansion plans have been kept on track, Chai said.

In addition, let's not forget that 28nm is still new in the industry, Chai said. Making chips using the process is still not stable and some companies recognize it is a risk to their products, Chai observed. Apple, for instance, still uses 45nm to manufacture its newest A5X chips.

TSMC previously had yield problems with its 40/45nm process technology, and saw the ramp-up schedule interrupted. Revenues from the nodes accounted for as little as 1% in the first half of 2009. The proportion climbed slightly to 4% in the third quarter, and finally approached 10% in the last quarter of the year.

Around mid-2009, Rick Tsai resigned from his position as TSMC CEO, with chairman Morris Chang returning to the helm. Later in the year, TSMC hired its former VP of R&D Shang-Yi Chiang to again lead its R&D.

TSMC in October 2011 entered volume production for its 28nm processes. Sales of 28nm accounted for 2% of TSMC's revenues in the fourth quarter of the year.

Chang remarked previously that TSMC's 28nm process technology would play an important source of company growth in 2012.

TSMC: Sales contribution made by 65nm during ramp-up

4Q06

1Q07

2Q07

3Q07

4Q07

1Q08

2Q08

3Q08

4Q08

1Q09

40/45nm

0%

0%

0%

0%

0%

0%

0%

0%

0%

1%

65nm

0%

1%

3%

7%

10%

15%

18%

25%

27%

23%

Source: Company, compiled by Digitimes, April 2012

TSMC: Sales contribution made by 40/45nm during ramp-up

1Q09

2Q09

3Q09

4Q09

1Q10

2Q10

3Q10

4Q10

1Q11

2Q11

3Q11

4Q11

28nm

0%

0%

0%

0%

0%

0%

0%

0%

0%

0%

0%

2%

40/45nm

1%

1%

4%

9%

14%

16%

17%

21%

22%

26%

27%

27%

Source: Company, compiled by Digitimes, April 2012

TSMC: Sales contribution made by 28nm during ramp-up

4Q11

1Q12(e)

28nm

2%

5%

Source: Company, compiled by Digitimes, April 2012

Realtime news
  • Mitac Information Technology becomes Asia Pacific partner for Google Cloud Platform

    IT + CE | 30min ago

  • Samsung, HTC, Sony Mobile likely to launch mini flagship models

    Mobile + telecom | 53min ago

  • Google Cloud Platform launched in Taiwan

    IT + CE | 57min ago

  • Taiwan market: WLAN device sales total US$17.9 million in 4Q13, says IDC

    Mobile + telecom | 1h 10min ago

  • Taiwan PV firms suspend JV plan due to US antidumping probe

    Green energy | 1h 18min ago

  • HDI board capacity utilization rates to rise in 2Q14

    Bits + chips | Apr 15, 22:08

  • Nokia increases orders for on-cell touch panels to Taiwan

    Displays | Apr 15, 20:57

  • Korea-based panel makers expected to start mass producing lower-cost Ultra HD TV panels in 2Q14

    Displays | Apr 15, 20:15

  • Taiwan market: Acer to launch Liquid E3 smartphone

    Mobile + telecom | Apr 15, 19:47

  • Mitac Information Technology becomes Asia Pacific partner for Google Cloud Platform

    Before Going to Press | Apr 15, 21:16

  • Lumax looks to improving sales and profits in 2014

    Before Going to Press | Apr 15, 21:15

  • Commentary: Korea-based panel makers bump up competition in the Ultra HD TV panel segment

    Before Going to Press | Apr 15, 20:55

  • TSMC, UMC look to sequential revenue gains in 2Q14

    Before Going to Press | Apr 15, 20:35

  • SAS to introduce new shareholders, raise additional capital

    Before Going to Press | Apr 15, 20:02

  • Taiwan market: Consumers upset by better Asustek ZenFones available in China

    Before Going to Press | Apr 15, 19:17

  • EU to impose anti-dumping tariffs on China-made PV-use glass

    Before Going to Press | Apr 15, 19:12

  • Taiwan motherboard makers expected to see growth in 2Q14 shipments

    Before Going to Press | Apr 15, 19:11

Pause
 | 
View more
DIGITIMES Research Data Services
TD-LTE market developments and forecast, 2014-2016
2014 global smartphone market forecast
  • China flat panel display industry outlook, 2013-2016

    This Digitimes Research Special Report outlines and analyzes the key trends and players that are influencing the continued development of China large-size and small-to medium size TFT LCD panel industry, while providing related growth forecasts for the industry through 2016.

  • TD-LTE market developments and forecast, 2014-2016

    TD-LTE has become the mainstream global choice for the construction of 4G asymmetric frequency spectrum networks. This Digitimes Research Special Report examines the current global status of TD-LTE, and forecasts developments in the TD-LTE supply chain in China and worldwide through 2016.