TSMC executives believe that the company's 7nm technology will outperform rivals' in terms of area, performance and power, when the company moves the new advanced node to volume production in the first quarter of 2018. Speaking at a pre press conference prior to Semicon Taiwan, Simon Wang, senior director of business development for TSMC, indicated that semiconductor market growth over the next five years will be driven by the smartphone, high-performance computing (HPC), Internet of Things (IoT) and automotive electronics fields.
TSMC's growth through 2020 will be driven mostly by the smartphone sector, said Wang, adding that a growing number of ICs used per device and robust demand for integrated solutions that enable more smartphone features are contributing to half of TSMC's growth. The other half of TSMC's growth comes from chip demand for HPC, IoT and car electronics applications, Wang said.
The foundry disclosed previously its 10nm process had received product tape-outs from three clients, and the node would start generating revenues in the first quarter of 2017.
Moving forward, TSMC expects to ramp up production of 7nm chips in the first quarter of 2018, Wang said. TSMC is confident the PPA (power, performance and area) on its 7nm process technology will outperform rivals', Wang added.
In addition, TSMC has been engaged in R&D for 5nm process technology, and will be ready to use extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography to make 5nm chips, Wang said. Risk production is expected to complete in the first half of 2019, Wang indicated.
TSMC is also making progress in the development of its backend business. TSMC's backend integrated fan-out (InFO) wafer-level packaging (WLP) technology has already been adopted by many of its foundry customers, and is expected to generate revenues of more than US$100 million in the fourth quarter of 2016, Wang said.