TSMC opens new advanced backend fab

Monica Chen, Hsinchu; Jessie Shen, DIGITIMES Asia 0


TSMC's Advanced Backend Fab 6, the foundry's first all-in-one automated advanced packaging and testing fab to realize 3DFabric front-end to back-end process and testing services integration, has opened.

The fab is prepared for bulk production of TSMC-SoIC (system on integrated chips) technology. Advanced Backend Fab 6 enables TSMC to allocate capacity flexibly for TSMC 3DFabric advanced packaging and silicon stacking technologies, including SoIC, InFO, CoWoS, and advanced testing, thereby enhancing production yield and efficiency, according to the company.

The construction of Advanced Backend Fab 6 began in 2020 in order to support the next generation of HPC, AI, mobile applications, and other products, as well as to help customers achieve product success and seize market opportunities. The fab is located in Zhunan Science Park and has a base area of 14.3 hectares, making it TSMC's largest advanced backend fab to date, with a cleanroom area larger than the sum of all other TSMC advanced backend fabs. TSMC estimates that the fab will be able to produce over one million 12-inch wafer equivalents of 3DFabric process technology and over ten million hours of testing services per year.

"Chiplet stacking is a key technology for improving chip performance and cost-effectiveness. In response to the strong market demand for 3D IC, TSMC has completed early deployment of advanced packaging and silicon stacking technology production capacity, and offers technology leadership through the 3DFabric platform," said Jun He, company VP of operations, and advanced packaging technology and service, and quality and reliability. "With the production capacity that meets our customers' needs, we will unleash innovation together and become an important partner that customers trust in the long term."

According to industry observers, AI GPUs have been in short supply in recent months, and Nvidia's order backlog is filled until the end of the year. The fundamental cause is not foundries' available 7/5nm process capacity, but rather the fact that CoWoS, which initially only had limited production capacity, has no time to adapt, making TSMC's advanced packaging planning blueprint a global priority, the observers said.

TSMC chairman Mark Liu recently stated that the demand for advanced packaging far exceeds the current production capacity, and the company is presently accelerating the increase in production capacity.

At a tech symposium in Taiwan last year, TSMC COO C. C. Wei already disclosed the company's ambitious objective for its advanced packaging business. TSMC would scale up its advanced packaging production capacity in 2022, 300% greater than that in 2018, and further boost the output by 2026 thanks to the commercialization of its 3D SoIC technology.