Gains Come as Costs, Complexity Rise
Rick Merritt, EETimes
10/2/2013 07:05 AM EDT
SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. is making steady progress on its next two nodes, bringing advances in performance and low power. The bad news is it's widely expected the latest nodes add less transistor density and more cost than in the past.
TSMC has taped out several 20nm chips and expects to let customers start designing 16nm FinFET chips before the end of the year. By the end of 2014 it expects it will have taped out 25 20nm designs and be far along in work on 30 16nm chips.
Company execs gave a frank and detailed rundown of their progress, especially on the 16nm node at a Silicon Valley event here. TSMC is seen as a bellwether of the chip sector and electronics generally because it is one of the world's largest and most advanced makers of semiconductors. It puts out a whopping 1.3 million eight-inch equivalent wafers each month, some of them now down to 20nm geometries.
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