TSMC announced the company plans to build a new $5 billion 12-inch wafer plant for R&D purposes. This new plant will focus on the 32nm, 22nm and 15nm technology nodes.
TSMC's current 12-inch fab focuses on the 90nm, 65nm, and 45nm technology nodes. Despite seeing wafer OEM makers trim their capex for 2008, TSMC is still endeavoring to work on the development of 12-inch fabs in order to expand its capacity for long-term competitiveness. TSMC previously considered Central Taiwan Science Park (CTSP) for the location of the new fab, but finally decided upon a site at Hsinchu Science Park.
In contrast, rival United Microelectronics Corporation (UMC) invested US$1.5 billion to establish the R&D center it opened last year.
TSMC and UMC have capex totals of US$1.8 billion and US$500-700 million, respectively, for 2008.
Meanwhile, Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC) recently began photolithography equipment move-in at the 12-inch plant in Wuhan, China, it is establishing in partnership with the Hubei provincial government.