Bitmain Order Manufactured by TSMC Nanjing Fab, Volume Production In May
According to Jiweinet report, the 16nm wafers ordered by Bitmain will be built in the Nanjing factory of TSMC. The Nanjing Fab cost 3 billion USD to build and is wholly owned by TSMC. Volume production of 16nm/12nm wafer is expected to start in May 2018, six months earlier than scheduled. The facility is the first factory in China capable of producing 16nm chips and could help TSMC secure more orders as demand remains strong.Nanjing Fab is being equipped to run 20k wpm, representing 2.5% of total capacity of TSMC.
The market demand for asic and mobile phone from mainland China has been soaring in recent years. The report says that TSMC’s capacity has been fully booked to Q3 this year. Seeing IC as its pillar industry, Taiwan authority has been restricting relevant companies from building foundries in mainland china to protect its confidential technology. TSMC claimed that 16nm/12nm process of Nanjing fab was 2 generations behind its 7nm technology, which is in line with the “N-1” strategy. Also the “wholly-owned” company structure is another form of protection.
So far Bitmain, Cannan Creative are customers of TSMC. Ebang is partnering with Samsung to produce ASIC chips.
The most advanced semiconductor manufacturer of mainland China is SIMC (Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation), which is listed company in Hongkong. According to its report in Q4 2017, the company is expected to enter mass production of 14nm chips in Q1/Q2 2019, six months earlier than original plan.