EE Times picked up some new details about TSMC's 450mm wafer efforts during the TSMC 2011 Technology Symposium on Tuesday, you can read it over here.
As reported, TSMC is moving full speed ahead into the 450-mm fab era. The move is intended to reduce production costs and stay one step ahead of its rivals, such as Globalfoundries, Samsung, UMC and others.
There is another motivation for TSMC’s move into 450-mm. In the 450-mm era, the company will require ''fewer engineers’’ over time, thereby reducing costs, said Shang-Yi Chiang, senior vice president of R&D at TSMC.
In fact, TSMC will need 7,000 fewer engineers over a 10-year period when it enters into the 450-mm era, he told EE Times.
There are two factors at play in 450-mm. First, TSMC believes it will become more and more difficult to attract ''good engineers’’ over time, he said.
Second, TSMC will ultimately require fewer 450-mm fabs to meet customer demand in the future. The next-generation wafer size is projected to boost overall chip productivity by 1.8 times or more, as compared to 300-mm.