TSMC announced it will revise its capital expenditure (capex) budget for 2012 at its upcoming investors meeting on April 26th. The previous capex target for 2012 was set at $6 billion, and market sources speculate TSMC will raise it to $6.8 billion to expand its 28nm production capacity.
The higher spending is to expand capacity for 28nm processes, which have experienced stronger-than-expected demand, and also to start volume production using 20nm process technology ahead of schedule, said Chang.
TSMC has seen the visibility of its orders extended to three to four months, which could point to brisk market conditions in the second quarter, Chang indicated. Customers demand more capacity for advanced processes than last year, Chang said.
In addition to building new capacity for 28nm processes, TSMC will move its 20nm technology to volume production as early as 2013, Chang noted.