TSMC announced it has initiated mass production of chips using the 20nm proces technology. The company's 20nm ramp is about a month ahead of its plan, at present the firm makes 20nm at elect modules of fabs 12 and 14. Starting from May, TSMC will intiate 20nm production at the fab 15 modules 3 and 4.
The foundry did not reveal which chips will be the first to go 20nm, other than that the first five 20nm chips were designed for mobile computing, CPU and PLD [programmable logic device] industries. TSMC expects the 20nm node will account for 10 percent of its 2014 total wafer revenue.
“We have two fabs, fab 12 and fab 14 that complete the core of the 20nm-SoC. As a matter of fact, we have started production. We are in the [high]-volume [20nm] production as we speak right now,” said C. C. Wei, co-chief executive officer and co-president of TSMC, during a conference call with investors and financial analysts.
TSMC’s CLN20SOC technology is designed for various highly-integrated system-on-chips (SoC) that benefit from high transistor density. Thanks to use of high-k metal gate dielectrics, chips made using the new process will be able to achieve fairly high frequencies without significant increase of leakage currents. TSMC offers only one version of process technology at 20nm node.