TSMC to spend $9bn on 12in fab

Taiwanese foundry TSMC said it will invest more than T$300bn ($9.4bn) and add 8000 jobs in a new plant in Taiwan over the next few years to tap global chip industry growth.

The company’s third 12in wafer fabrication facility will use 40nm and 28nm technologies in phase one, TSMC chairman and chief executive Morris Chang said on at the groundbreaking ceremony for the new plant in Central Taiwan. “This marks the beginning of a new growth era,”

Although there were worries about a supply glut in the chip sector, TSMC’s investment would not add to that concern, some fund managers said.

“There has been a flood of chips using mature technology out there, but those to be made at this new plant are still in strong demand,” said Chang Chi-sheng, who manages T$9.5bn for Uni-President Asset Management. “TSMC has long been the industry leader in technology. An increase of advanced process output will fuel demand among clients.”

TSMC reported record sales for the second quarter on stronger demand for PCs and electronic devices, with the company on track to book a record profit this year. It is set to announce full quarterly results and offer guidance on its business outlook in late July.

Despite worries over the debt crisis in the euro zone, Chang has said the global chip maker should remain in good shape in the second half as global chip sales were expected grow about 30 per cent this year.
TSMC’s new facility will begin mass production in the first phase in the March quarter of 2012, said Chang

The company’s total monthly output of 12in wafers should rise to 240,000 units by end of this year from 200,000, according to a TSMC statement.

TSMC also said it planned to build a solar cell R&D centre in the new facility as part of a diversification initiative.

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