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Taiwan chip-making trio combine to build five new cutting-edge factories

Chip-building giant Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC), along with Powerchip Semiconductor and Vanguard will invest a combined $14.7 billion USD on five new chip fabrication plants.

The new facilities, situated at the Hsinchu Science Park, will include an advanced 300mm wafer plant to make computer and other electronic chips and will create an estimated 10,000 new jobs. TSMC alone will hire 3,000 additional workers.

“We will have both R&D and manufacturing in the new plants,” said TSMC spokesman J.H. Tzeng to Reuters.

TSMC, the world’s largest contract maker of semiconductors, said that it will contribute to just over a third of the overall investment into the new plants. TSMC will be responsible for the fourth and fifth phases of Fab 12 in the northern Taiwan industrial area, according to Trading Markets.

“Phases four and five will provide manufacturing services as well,” Tzeng added. “Our plan is to invest five billion US dollars there for research and development of 32nm, 22nm and 15nm process technologies.”

TSMC’s current 12-inch wafer facilities focus on 90nm, 65nm and 45nm technologies. In 2006, TSMC approved a $1.13 billion project to expand the company’s 300mm wafer fabrication plants.  Famous TSMC clients include NVIDIA and AMD's graphics division.

TSMC on Monday posted a 38 percent rise in sales as compared to the same period a year earlier, though were 6 percent below the previous month’s performance.

The five new plants are expected to reach an estimated production value of $9.8 billion yearly between the three companies.

Powerchip, Taiwan’s largest memory chip maker, will spend $8.1 billion on the factories to create more advanced memory technologies, reported Bloomberg.

Frank Huang, chairman of Powerchip, believes that there will be great demand for chips later this year. “There will be a chip shortage from the fourth quarter of this year,” he said at the groundbreaking ceremony.

Existing Powerchip facilities will be re-tooled for the production of NAND flash technologies, popularly used for storage in portable devices such as MP3 players and mobiles. Powerchip also has additional factories dedicated to making flash memory.

The upcoming facilities in the Hsinchu Science Park will expand Powerchip’s DRAM capacity by 30,000 wafers monthly, taking the company to 260,000 wafers by the end of 2009.

Vanguard, the third company investing in the new facilities, was not available to comment on its projections for the endeavor.

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Who else makes chips?
By BigToque on 3/12/2008 6:59:08 PM , Rating: 2
I really only know of Intel, AMD and TSMC.

Who else makes chips?

RE: Who else makes chips?
By murphyslabrat on 3/12/2008 7:11:00 PM , Rating: 5
Frito Lay

RE: Who else makes chips?
By ImSpartacus on 3/12/08, Rating: 0
RE: Who else makes chips?
By cypherl on 3/12/2008 7:41:12 PM , Rating: 2
touché my fritolay friend. Well played, well played indeed.

RE: Who else makes chips?
By PAPutzback on 3/13/2008 9:20:49 AM , Rating: 2
Rock on. It's good to start a Monday with a laugh. Actually its payday so it is the one day of the week that doesn't feel like a Monday.

RE: Who else makes chips?
By murphyslabrat on 3/14/2008 2:48:12 PM , Rating: 2
Dude had to be setting that up, but it was nice that I was able to make the comment.

RE: Who else makes chips?
By MetaDFF on 3/12/2008 8:10:21 PM , Rating: 2
There are lots of contract fabs (according to wiki) the top 10 are:
1. TSMC (Taiwan)
2. UMC Group (Taiwan)
3. Chartered (Singapore)
4. SMIC (China)
5. Dongbu/Anam (South Korea)
6. SSMC (Singapore)
7. HHNEC (China)
8. Jazz Semiconductor (U.S.)
9. Silterra (Malaysia)
10. X-Fab (Europe)

Other big ones are ST-Microelectronics and IBM.

RE: Who else makes chips?
By emboss on 3/12/2008 9:26:25 PM , Rating: 2
There's also TI (second only to Intel by volume IIRC, partially thanks to the cellphone/DSP market) and Philips. And all the various RAM manufacturers, Samsung producing the most.

RE: Who else makes chips?
By Eskimo on 3/12/2008 11:57:33 PM , Rating: 2
TI is 4th. Rankings are measured in revenue. Top 10 for 2007 was:
1) Intel
2) Samsung
3) Toshiba
4) TI
5) ST Micro
6) Infineon + Qimonda
7) Hynix
8) Renesas
9) NXP (formerly Philips)

If you include foundries TSMC would fit in right under ST. AMD usually hovers somewhere around #11.

RE: Who else makes chips?
By Samus on 3/13/2008 2:47:11 AM , Rating: 2
Where the hell is Micron? Are the bust yet?

RE: Who else makes chips?
By erikejw on 3/13/2008 11:13:01 AM , Rating: 2
Someone bought them I think.

RE: Who else makes chips?
By Eskimo on 3/13/2008 11:12:08 PM , Rating: 2
Micron is down at #15 or thereabouts, down with IBM. Micron's only the 4th largest DRAM manufacturer now and their flash business hasn't delivered appreciable revenue yet.

Micron and IBM just get an disproportionate amount of media coverage in the US because they are American companies.

RE: Who else makes chips?
By PB PM on 3/12/2008 8:24:17 PM , Rating: 3
Another would be Freescale Semiconductor (spin off of Motorola in 2001), most for embedded devices in cars, and things like that though so its not well known.

TSMC -> 32nm, 22nm and 15nm process technologies
By vladio on 3/12/08, Rating: -1
By Warren21 on 3/12/2008 6:42:11 PM , Rating: 2
Am I the only one who misses the point of this post...?

By murphyslabrat on 3/12/2008 7:12:20 PM , Rating: 2
He's complaining about Jobs lost in America, and chiding us for being excited about getting cheaper electronics....oh, and that the 3000 jobs made is insignificant.

By ImSpartacus on 3/12/2008 7:40:56 PM , Rating: 2
Then why is it called " TSMC -> 32nm, 22nm and 15nm process technologies", why not "blah blah jobs, blah"?

By Amiga500 on 3/12/2008 8:16:29 PM , Rating: 5
Heading should have been...

"They tuk arr jooooobbbbbsssss"

By eye smite on 3/13/2008 7:17:20 AM , Rating: 2
You all can joke about it as much as you want, but in the last 7 yrs doing tech support I've been laid off because the jobs were outsourced overseas. It certainly wasn't because they could do it better, but because they could do it dirt cheap. Taking care of customers is not an important consideration for companies now days, can't wait for that to backlash in their faces, but please, keep joking about it and we'll just wait for the day it happens to you. Myself, I'm lucky to have multiple sclerosis, just got my SS disability stuff all squared away and will enjoy getting paid monthly for the rest of my life by your taxpayer dollars, all the while running a computer repair service under the radar from the irs out of my garage.

By paydirt on 3/13/2008 9:20:04 AM , Rating: 2
The Great Depression was caused by two things. (1) the U.S. government did not guarantee deposits and 40% of all deposits (2) THE U.S. IMPOSED TARIFFS ON FOREIGN GOODS TO "PROTECT" JOBS/BUSINESS.

Protectionist measures only increase any flight of capital and jobs away from the country being protectionist. For a modern-day example, look at Venezuela.

The first post fails to mention all the jobs that Toyota has created in the U.S. and only mentions jobs lost. Other foreign companies are building factories in the U.S. and it is happening at an increasing pace. Also if it weren't for the increasing price of oil, the U.S. trade deficit would have decreased.

By paydirt on 3/13/2008 9:25:49 AM , Rating: 2
correction: ...40% of deposits were lost when the corresponding banks went bankrupt.

By dever on 3/13/2008 1:02:53 PM , Rating: 2
The government also did some other things that screwed with the supply of the money to cause the depression. The money hadn't been guaranteed up to that point... so that wasn't the "cause." They did add extra restrictions to banks and made money more scarce, raising interest rates and preventing new investments.

By Runiteshark on 3/13/2008 12:50:08 PM , Rating: 2
The company I work for has an India NOC/SOC that takes over on nights and Sundays.

I defiantly don't see them replacing all the people we got here, ever.

RE: TSMC -> 32nm, 22nm and 15nm process technologies
By dever on 3/13/2008 1:15:16 PM , Rating: 3
I don't know if you're being serious about your social security, but if so, you make me sick. You complain about the great opportunity given to everyone in this country (US), then you bypass that opportunity to steal money from the taxpayers. You are a disgrace, and an insult to those who are truly incapacitated.

This is yet another reason why private charities are much better at handling aid than governments.

Take note... this is a shining example of true greed. Greed is not working hard and being rewarded (like Hollywood likes to describe capitalists, whether corrupt or not). Greed is immorally getting gain through force or fraud. He is using both force (taxes) and fraud (lying).

By darkfoon on 3/17/2008 10:12:21 PM , Rating: 2
While I don't agree with working "under the radar" while receiving SSD, the fact that the guy has MS should be punishment enough.
He is going to die. A slow and horrible death. It'll be fast if he is lucky, and he wont be able to control his body or his thoughts until his last breath.

So when you say
You are a disgrace, and an insult to those who are truly incapacitated.
you forget that he truly is incapacitated.

By matriarch wolf on 3/18/2008 6:35:42 PM , Rating: 2
Listen buddy I've paid my dues in the workforce, and if you call $897 a month provided by SS disability greedy, you must be from a 4th world nation. I've had vertigo for nearly 2 yrs, partially blind in one eye, can no longer feel my hands or feet, so typing is a chore. Walking is a chore. Would you like to come give me my shots or just take them for me and deal with all the side effects. You're a judgemental piece of SHlT and you fit perfectly in the descriptions given in the book The Human Animal. You're lucky to still have the health to take any job at anytime, anywhere, I don't have that luxury you c0ck sucker. At this point in my life and all I've been through, you better believe I'm going to squeeze the system for all it's worth, it never did anything for me before. How does it make you feel to know that despite your intelligence and all you've learned you're still just a human primate letting the animal instinct rule what you stupid child.

By Tsuwamono on 3/17/2008 11:58:55 AM , Rating: 1
Or you were laid off for bitching too much? I think thats probably it. As an employer i would have never even hired you with your bullshit attitude

By mdogs444 on 3/13/2008 8:38:56 AM , Rating: 2
3,000 jobs made is insignificant. Thats a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a percentage.

However, cheaper electronics are going to continue to be made as long as our trade policies with certain countries are crap, and as long as we dont put tariffs on the products to make them the same price as US produced goods.

By mdogs444 on 3/13/2008 8:35:45 AM , Rating: 2
Starbucks: cut 600 jobs

Mostly low level employee jobs due to stores losing money.
Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times and other: Cuts !!

With the amount of people getting their news on the internet, does this really surprise you? Not only that, but how about the inceases level of partisanship & political bias in those papers that people are getting sick of?
Morgan Stanley: eliminate 1,000 jobs

A financial company cutting jobs right about now? Who'd have thunk it.
"The percentage of Californians who get health insurance through their jobs is among the lowest in the country"

Well lets see. The state with the highest population and garners the most illegal aliens in the country? Wow, and I wonder why these statistics are a bit skewed.
Bank of America: cuts 3,000 jobs

Again, is this surprising?
Labor Department reported: "The economy lost 17000 jobs in January"

Not surprising man. Everything runs in cycles. We've experienced such high levels of economic growth the past few years, and record lows of unemployment. Things have to change because common business and economic practice says so.

By PAPutzback on 3/13/2008 9:18:20 AM , Rating: 6
I believe the all branches of the armed services are hiring. I served. Have you?

“Then they pop up and say ‘Hello, surprise! Give us your money or we will shut you down!' Screw them. Seriously, screw them. You can quote me on that.” -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng referencing patent trolls
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