Taipei, Nov. 23 (CNA) Phase-six construction of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company's 14th wafer foundry, which will be the first plant in the world to mass produce 20-nanometer quad-core chips, broke ground in southern Taiwan Friday.
The project is part of TSMC's planned NT$500 billion (US$17.17 billion) investment over the next five years in the Southern Taiwan Science Park in Tainan.
The plant will also become the world's first 12-inch fab to mass produce 16-nm FinFET semiconductors, according to Chiang Shang-yi, TSMC's executive vice president and co-chief operating officer.
The clean rooms of the fifth, sixth and seventh phases of the expansion project will cover over 130,000 square meters, 1.4 times the floor space of the first four phases. Phase-seven construction is scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2013.
The new facility represents TSMC's most aggressive expansion project since the company was established in 1987, Chiang said at a ceremony that marked the launch of phase six and the completion of phase five of the project.
The new plant is expected to create 7,000 more jobs, Chiang said. TSMC already has 9,000 workers at its operations in the park.
The world's leading contract chip maker has already invested more than NT$450 billion over the past 15 years in its operations in Tainan, which include six 8-inch wafer foundries, 14 12-inch fabs and an assembly and test factory.
The output value generated by TSMC in the Tainan park in 2011 exceeded NT$180 billion, or 42 percent of TSMC's total annual revenues, according to Chiang.
(By Yang Szu-jui and Kendra Lin)