Taiwanese foundry TSMC announced a 2016 capital expenditure budget in $9 billion to $10 billion range. It's more than the 8.1 billion it invested in 2015, but less than the original 2015 capex budget of between $10.5 billion and $11 billion. EE Times reports TSMC expects a 5 percent gain for the overall foundry business this year, with smartphone chips being a major growth driver.
TSMC said it foresees “major product advancements” in three areas during the next two years, including high-end smartphones, high-performance computing and emerging applications such as virtual reality, gaming and automotive electronics.
“All of those advances will be supported by TSMC’s 10nm and 7nm technologies,” Co-CEO Mark Liu said at an event to announce the company’s fourth-quarter 2015 financial results. The company expects to complete process and product qualification for 10nm chips and begin customer tapeouts during the first quarter this year, he said. The company said it is on schedule to start production at the 7nm node in 2017.
TSMC also revealed it plans to kick off production of 5nm chips sometime in 2019, a year or two after the upcoming introduction of its 7nm node. The 5nm chips will likely use the long-delayed extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography technology.