TSMC’s 18-inch wafer volume production planned for 2015

/ 5 years ago

Industry observers were told by TSMC that their tests for the large 18 inch wafer are planned for a 2012-2013, while the volume production should be reached in 2015.

Wafers are large discs on which silicon chips are manufactured and then cut out individually (as pictured above). Wafers are measured by their diameters with the current ones measuring 12 inches (11.8 to be specific).

Obviously, the bigger the wafer, the higher the number of chips on a wafer. The switch in production process from TSMC aims therefore in the reduction of production costs.

TSMC expect to have 95% of the wafer production equipment for 18 inch wafers installed in 2014 and start the volume production by 2015.

“The transition to 18-inch wafer production is aimed at creating more powerful chips, and also enabling a more cost-effective manufacturing method,” TSMC said. “It is not just having larger wafers, but adding more value to customer products.”

However, TSMC is currently facing technical hurdles that have to be solved in collaboration with equipment and material suppliers.