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Reporter: Claire Sung
Editor: Rodney Chan
Date published: 05 Nov 2008

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) will ramp up 32nm production in 2009, with 22nm and 15nm production following in 2011 and 2013 respectively, according to the company's latest roadmap.

While Moore's Law still applies, the shrinking of technology nodes will have to overcome the barriers of power consumption and costs, commented company vice president for research and development Jack Sun.

Sun noted that the pace of cost reduction for transistor production has been slowing. The costs declined by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 29% between 1993-2003, but between 2003-2018 the CAGR decline will be 26%, meaning the more advanced the processes, the harder it is for costs to come down, Sun pointed out.

It will be even harder to reduce production costs after the industry enters the 32nm node, he said.

One way to further cut production costs is to migrate to 18-inch wafer production, Sun said.

Judging from the development of the semiconductor industry, the peak of 8-inch production was between 1994-2004, while the peak of 12-inch production will be the period between 2004-2014, he said.

Moore's law is named after Intel co-founder Gordon Moore. Back in 1965, Mr Moore stated that in every two years, the number of transistors on a chip will double. More information can be found on Intel's website.

Intel is the world's largest computer processor producer. Over 80% of the world's computers are powered by Intel. While Intel is not a Taiwanese company, this company has made huge investments in Taiwan. In addition, TSMC is one of Intel's main supplier for computer wafers. This clearly highlights the necessity for continuous innovation on Taiwanese companies in order to retain high profile investors.

TSMC to ramp up 32nm production in 2009 -
Accessed on 05 Nov 2008

Moore's Law -
Accessed on 05 Nov 2008

1 Comment

  1. I think this situation is highly unlikely due to heat and power consumption of the chip. In the current market, what is happening is there they are expanding in terms of quad-cores which means there are a total of 4 chips working instead of one.

    If the PC is doing simple word processing whereby only 1 core is needed, the other 3 will not be activated, thus reduce power consumption, in the sense more environmentally friendly.

    Nonetheless, it will still be a new innovation or the breakthrough to squeeze more transistors into a core, pushing the core power beyond its limits. It might even open new doors for the Taiwan's ICT research and development sector