TSMC board approves US$4 billion for advanced technology capacity expansion

TaiwanDigi Times — The board of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) has approved capital appropriations of US$3.96 billion for expanding capacity for advanced-node manufacturing, and packaging and assembly, as well as construction of fab facilities and installation of facility systems, and first-quarter 2016 R&D capital investments and sustaining capital expenditures.


MediaTek, TSMC urge Taiwan government to ease restrictions on China investment in chipmakers

TaiwanDigi Times — The chairmen of MediaTek and TSMC both agree that Taiwan’s government should be more liberal towards the issue of allowing China-based firms to invest in the local IC industry sectors, and pursue an open policy for the local chipmakers’ cooperation with their China-based counterparts.


Lower Emerging Market Smartphone Demand Sinks TSMC’s Net Profit

TaiwanChina Tech News — TSMC said that due to the declining demands of smartphones in the emerging markets and severe market competition, the company’s net profit was NTD75.33 billion in the third quarter of 2015, a year-on-year drop of 1.3% and a decrease of 5.1% compared with the previous quarter.


Samsung eyeing 14nm chip orders from HiSilicon

KoreaDigi Times — Samsung Electronics is offering HiSilicon Technologies lower prices for its 14nm FinFET production in a bid to vie for mobile chip orders from the China-based fabless vendor, according to industry sources. HiSilicon is already among TSMC’s major clients, having placed 16nm chip orders at the Taiwan-based foundry, said the sources.


Cadence offers design tools for TSMC InFO packaging

TaiwanDigi Times — Cadence Design Systems has announced that its Allegro system-in-package (SiP) and physical verification system (PVS) implementation technologies have been enabled for TSMC’s integrated fan-out (InFO) packaging technology. By providing an integrated solution that automates the design-rule checking (DRC) flow, the Allegro SiP design tools and PVS enable TSMC customers to shorten the InFO design and verification cycle.


Cadence announces IP portfolio for TSMC 10nm FinFET process

TaiwanDigi Times — Cadence Design Systems has announced an intellectual property (IP) portfolio for TSMC’s 10nm FinFET (N10) process. Cadence has already secured multiple design wins with this portfolio and is actively engaged with customers as adoption of TSMC’s leading-edge process grows. The initial deliveries of Cadence IP for the N10 process demonstrate a 20% power reduction and 50% area reduction compared to TSMC’s 16nm process technology, and are ideal for mobile and network infrastructure applications, Cadence indicated.


TSMC secures A10 chip orders from Apple, says report

TaiwanTaiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) will be the exclusive supplier of Apple’s next-generation A10 processors with volume production to kick off starting March 2016, according to a recent Chinese-language Commercial Times report. TSMC will offer its in-house developed backend integrated fan-out (InFO) wafer-level packaging for the production of the A10 chips, which will be built using the foundry’s 16nm FinFET process technology, said the report, which cited unspecified Apple suppliers as its source.


Inventory adjustments in semi industry coming to an end, says TSMC executive

TaiwanDigi Times — The recent inventory adjustments in the semiconductor industry have nearly come to an end, and the possibility is high for the industry to swing back to a seasonal growth cycle shortly, according to George Liu, director of sensor and driver business development at TSMC. Companies and market analysts have been revising their outlook for the 2015 semiconductor market growth, due to weak market demand resulting in higher-than-expected inventory levels in the industry.


Taiwan top court rules in favor of TSMC in lawsuit against ex-R&D director

TaiwanDigi 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.


TSMC stays neutral on ASE’s bid for SPIL shares

TaiwanDigi 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.


TSMC growing its 16nm client base

TaiwanDigi 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.


China IC foundries, backend firms soliciting orders from Taiwan

ChinaDigi 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.


TSMC says 16nm ramp on schedule

TaiwanDigi 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.


Acer reportedly lands server orders from TSMC

TaiwanDigi 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.


iPhone 5c successor to feature FinFET chips, say TW sources

TaiwanDigi 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.


SEMI ranks Taiwan world’s No. 1 chip equipment spender

TaiwanWant 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.


TSMC cuts 2015 chip growth outlook

TaiwanDigi 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.


TSMC says 10nm on schedule

ChinaDigi 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, Samsung start A9 chip mass production

TaiwanTSMC 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.


TSMC cuts 28/20nm prices as much as 10%

TaiwanDigi 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.