Taiwanese semiconductor foundry TSMC hopes it can close the gap with Intel by rolling out its 10nm production in 2017. The firm told EE Times that its 10nm process promises to deliver equal speed, power and density properties than Intel's 10nm technology.
TSMC is making huge investments to strengthen its position, this year the firm is expected to have the largest capital expenditure (capex) in the semiconductor industry as the firm has set a capex budget of $11.5-12 billion, up 11.5-20 percent versus 2014. Intel on the other hand expects to spend $10 billion, plus or minus $500 million, in 2015.
TSMC will use immersion lithography tools for 10nm production, Sun said. The company has not yet announced what lithography tools it will use for more advanced nodes.
“We are working with ASML with the objective at some future point if extreme ultraviolet (EUV) becomes manufacturing ready, we can insert EUV partially to 10nm,” she said. “Partial insertion means only in a few critical layers.”
The use of EUV for process technology beyond 10nm still depends on whether it will be ready for manufacturing, Sun said. “It is still a work in progress,” she added.