TSMC revealed it plans to move in equipment at its new Nanjing-based plant in the second half of 2017. This is the Taiwanese foundry's first chip plant in mainland China, TSMC plans to initiate pilot production in the first half of 2018 and intends to kick off mass production in 2H 2018.
The Nanjing fab will manufacture 16nm chips and has a production target of 20,000 wafers a month.
In related news, TSMC confirmed its 10nm node has moved to volume production and that it's going to tape-out the first 7nm chips for its customers in the second half of 2017.
TSMC plans to adopt extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography for an enhanced version of its 7nm node and will fully implement it to make 5nm chips. The foundry says it has ASML's new NXE:3350B in operation and that the machine was capable of processing 1,500 wafers a day for three consecutive days.
EUV has been delayed for many years, there are still some hurdles to clear so it will be interesting to see if the major foundries will be able to switch to this new generation lithography technique in the coming years. This time there's not really an alternative as traditional lithography is reaching its limits.