Digi Times — Taiwan’s top court has ruled in favor of TSMC in a trade secret case against Liang Mong-song, a former senior director of R&D at TSMC. Liang has been accused of revealing TSMC’s trade secrets and patents related to its advanced process technology to Samsung Electronics. The Supreme Court on August 24 maintained the determination made by the second-instance court, prohibiting Liang from working for Samsung in any form until December 31, 2015.
Digi Times — TSMC would not comment on Advanced Semiconductor Engineering’s (ASE) recently-announced bid to take up a major stake in Siliconware Precision (SPIL), according to the contract chipmaker. As high as 90% of the backend production demanded by TSMC’s fabless clients is designated by the customers, the foundry said. TSMC is working with both ASE and SPIL, it added.
Digi Times — Foundry chipmaker TSMC has been actively pursuing 16nm FinFET chip orders in order to gain a majority of market share in the FinFET segment starting 2016, according to market sources. While securing a portion of Apple’s A9 chip orders, TSMC with its 16nm FinFET node has also obtained orders from AMD, Avago, Broadcom, HiSilicon Technologies, LG Electronics, MediaTek, Nvidia and Xilinx. The foundry is looking to aggressively ramp up its market share in the FinFET segment, the sources indicated.
Digi Times — China-based IC foundries including Semiconductor Manufacturing International (SMIC) and Huali Microelectronics (HLMC), and backend firms such as Jiangsu Changjiang Electronics Technology (JCET) and Nantong Fujitsu Microelectronics (NFME) are soliciting orders from Taiwan’s fabless IC firms, according to industry sources.
Digi Times — TSMC has maintained that volume production and ramp of its 16nm process is proceeding smoothly in line with its schedule, amid media speculation indicating the foundry is seeing a cutback of 16nm chip orders from Apple. Apple is requesting price cuts from its A9 chip suppliers Samsung Electronics and TSMC, which already have their 14/16nm FinFET process capacity ready for the chip that will be featured in new iPhone models slated for launch in the second half of 2015, according to industry sources.
Digi Times — Acer has reportedly obtained orders for servers used in data centers from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), which could affect TSMC’s orders to its original supplier IBM, according to sources from the upstream supply chain. Although Lenovo’s share in the server market has quickly picked up from 3% to 8% after acquiring IBM’s x86 server business, some of IBM’s original clients have concerns and have started to look eleswhere for supplies, the sources said.
Digi Times — Apple is not expected to launch a successor to the iPhone 5c this year, but will instead introduce its next-generation budget smartphones in second-quarter 2016 with the devices coming with 14/16nm FinFET chips, according to sources from the semiconductor industry. The 14/16nm FinFET chips will be manufactured by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) and Samsung, the sources said.
Want China Times — Taiwan is expected to grab the title as the largest spender on semiconductor equipment in 2015, according to an estimate released by the trade association Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI). SEMI said that Taiwan’s chip equipment spending is expected to total US$10.9 billion in 2015, ahead of South Korea’s estimated US$8.6 billion and North America’s US$6.5 billion.
Digi Times — Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), at its July 16 investors meeting, gave a less-optimistic outlook for the third quarter of 2015, and has revised downward its forecast for 2015 global semiconductor and foundry growth. TSMC co-CEO Mark Liu indicated the company now forecasts the global semiconductor market will grow 3% in sales in 2015, and the foundry segment will see a 6% increase.
Digi Times — TSMC has reiterated plans to move 10nm FinFET technology to risk production at the end of 2016, followed by mass production in the first quarter of 2017. Commercial production of chips made on the new process will take place in TSMC’s manufacturing site at the Central Taiwan Science Park (CTSP) in Taichung, the foundry disclosed.
TSMC and Samsung Foundry, which share orders for Apple’s A9 application processors, have both started volume production of the chips, according to industry sources. Just before production kicked off, Apple requested modifications to the mask patterns prompting both contract chipmakers to rework wafers, said the sources. Nevertheless, the event should not interrupt the new iPhone launch schedule, the sources noted.
Digi Times — Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) has slashed its prices on 28nm and 20nm process technologies by 5-10% in order to secure orders from major clients including Qualcomm and MediaTek, according to industry sources. The price cuts are also aimed at boosting TSMC’s capacity utilization rates of 28nm and 20nm lines to more than 80%, the sources noted.
Digi Times — The new Xilinx MPSoC series – dubbed Zynq UltraScale Plus – combines seven user programmable processors including a quad-core 64-bit ARM Cortex-A53 application processing unit, a dual-core 32-bit ARM Cortex-R5 real-time processing unit, and an ARM Mali-400 graphics processing unit. The Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC family also includes a host of integrated peripherals, safety and security features, and advanced power management.
Want China Times — Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co, the world’s largest contract chip maker, is expected to secure more than half the orders for Apple’s new mobile chip in 2016 thanks to better production capacity planning. “The Taiwanese manufacturer has a clearer roadmap for capacity planning next year, so we expect it to gain a higher market share next year,” an analysts at a European brokerage told CNA in a recent interview, referring to more than 50% of the orders for Apple’s A10 chips in 2016.
Want China Times — Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) has retained the title as the largest corporate taxpayer in northern Taiwan, the National Taxation Bureau under the country’s Ministry of Finance said Wednesday. According to statistics compiled by the bureau’s northern area division, TSMC, the world’s largest contract chip maker, paid more than NT$20 billion (US$645 million) in corporate income tax in 2014, the most of any enterprise operating in northern Taiwan.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSMC) and Hon Hai Precision Industry are among the top firms globally in terms of the number of patents obtained in the United States this year, the only two Taiwanese companies to gain that distinction, according to a recently released list. TSMC, the world’s largest contract chip maker, was granted 620 patents in the US between January and May this year, ranking 16th on the list of the “most innovative” companies worldwide.
TSMC is dedicated to providing foundry services for logic IC providers worldwide, and mergers in the industry will have little impact on the foundry’s operations, said company chairman Morris Chang in response to media queries on Altera’s recent announcement of being acquired by Intel. Many market observers consider that Intel’s acquisition of Altera, which makes use of TSMC’s foundry services, may have an adverse impact on TSMC.
Imagination Technologies has announced the company will work with TSMC to develop a series of advanced IP subsystems for the Internet of Things (IoT) to accelerate time to market and simplify the design process for customers. These IP platforms bring together the breadth of Imagination’s IP with TSMC’s advanced process technologies from 55nm down to 10nm.
Cadence Design Systems has announced that it is collaborating with TSMC on the development of an Internet of Things (IoT) IP subsystem demonstration platform for TSMC’s ultra-low power (ULP) process. Targeting wearable, home automation, always-on and industrial control applications, the IP subsystem provides the opportunity to simplify IoT designs and accelerate the time to market for customers, Cadence said.
TSMC is confident that the company will beat Samsung Electronics in ramping up production on its 10nm lines, according to the Taiwan-based foundry. TSMC continued that in the 10nm FinFET race, Intel will be its major competitor. Samsung disclosed during a recent technology forum in the US that the company plans to enter mass production of chips using its 10nm FinFET process by the end of 2016, about the same time as TSMC.