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TSMC to begin building 10nm pilot line in June

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. has announced that it will start to install equipment needed to produce 10nm chips in one of its semiconductor fabrication facilities next month. The company hopes to start risk production of 10nm chips late this year.

TSMC will start to construct its 10nm pilot line at its fab 15 phase 5 (which is located in Hsinchu Science Park, Taiwan) in June, 2015, reports UDN web-site. It will take several months to install the equipment, and then the line will become operational. It is highly likely that the company will start risk production of 10nm chips already in the fourth quarter of 2015. If TSMC delivers the first 10nm chip samples to its customers in calendar 2015, it will be in position to start commercial production of 10nm semiconductors in late 2016.

Earlier this year TSMC revealed the first details regarding its 10nm fabrication technology and demonstrated a 300mm wafer processed using its 10nm tech containing SRAM memory ICs [integrated circuits]. TSMC’s 10nm manufacturing process will have 110 per cent higher logic density compared to the company’s 16nm FinFET+ (CLN16FF+) process tech, 20 per cent higher clock-rate potential at the same power and 40 per cent lower power consumption at the same frequency.


Samsung Electronics last week demonstrated one of the first 300mm wafers processed using its 10nm manufacturing technology. The company officially revealed plans to start high-volume production of semiconductors using 10nm fabrication process by the end of 2016.

Intel Corp. recently said that it would reveal its 10nm roadmap later in 2015. It is expected that the world’s largest maker of microprocessors will begin to produce commercial 10nm chips in 2016.

GlobalFoundries is currently developing its 10nm process technology.

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KitGuru Says: TSMC is slightly behind Intel (who already has 10nm pilot line at D1X fab in Hillsboro, Oregon) with its 10nm schedule, but this does not seem to be a problem for the world’s largest contract maker of semiconductors. Everything seems to be on track for TSMC and the first commercial 10nm chips produced by the company will likely hit the market in early 2017.

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