Tight supply of TSMC's 28nm process has reportedly
increased the tapeout orders for "rival" foundry United
Microelectronics Corp. (UMC), which plans to boost
output capacity of its 28nm plants.
UMC has already received 80 28nm tapeouts, according to
a Taiwan Economic News
UMC, the world's No.2 pure silicon foundry supplier,
entered general production based on 28nm process
technology in the first quarter, lagging behind No.1
player TSMC. However, tight supply of the process at
TSMC has inspired 28nm process buyers to turn to UMC,
GlobalFoundries and Samsung.
To keep up with the demand for 28nm process capacity,
UMC has reportedly begun adjusting process-capacity
portfolios to make room for 28nm process foundry. The
foundry has also a new expansion plan in the works to
boost output capacity at its Fab 12A in the Southern
Taiwan Science Park. The expansion plan is estimated to
add 50,000-60,000 wafers a month at the factory when it
TSMC will budget US$8-8.5 billion for expansion this
year, with 28nm process capacity being the primary
expansion item. Its Fab 15's first-phase project has
entered volume production and is planned to rise output
to 50,000 wafers of 28nm chips by the end of this year.
UMC is produsing 28nm chips for Texas Instruments (OMAP
5) and Qualcomm (integrated baseband chips).
TSMC has already announced additional US$8-8.5 billion
investments for expansion this year. Its Fab 15's
first-phase project has entered volume production and is
planned to rise output to 50,000 wafers of 28nm chips by
the end of this year.
TSMC's 28nm chips are used by Qualcomm, Broadcom, Nvidia
and AMD, among others.