The report added that the projected cost of the 450-mm wafer fab would involve an investment exceeding NT800 billion (about $26 billion), or nearly three times the cost of TSMC's Fab 15 Gigafab currently being built on the science park.
The report referenced TSMC as saying Tuesday (Dec. 12) that the earliest it would start building the fab would be 2015 to 2016 but that once the 450-mm diameter wafer size becomes mainstream it planned to also build 450-mm wafer fabs in Hsinchu and Tainan.
TSMC is expected to bring up 450-mm wafer processing at two of its established wafer fabs, built for 300-mm wafer processing, before building a dedicated 450-mm wafer fab.
A 450-mm pilot line is expected to go into Fab 12 in Hsinchu, Taiwan and be running the 20-nm process technology node by 2013 to 2014.
At the 14-nm node, the node at which TSMC is expected to switch from planar transistors in bulk CMOS to FinFET structures.
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