TSMC teams up with Broadcom in 5nm process development

TAIPEI (CNA) — Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), the world’s largest contract chipmaker, has joined forces with U.S.-based integrated circuit designer Broadcom Inc. in advanced 5 nanometer process development.

In a statement released Tuesday, TSMC said it has teamed up with Broadcom to strengthen the Chip-on-Wafer-on-Substrate (CoWoS) integrated circuit packaging platform that supports 5nm technology.

According to TSMC, CoWoS provides best-in-breed performance and highest integration density for high performance computing applications, and the particular wafer level system integration platform offers a wide range of interposer sizes, a number of high bandwidth memory (HBM) cubes, and package sizes.

The cooperation with Broadcom means TSMC will provide one-stop services from IC packaging to pure wafer foundry services to Broadcom, which has come on board with other foreign tech giants such as Apple Inc., Qualcomm Inc., Advanced Micro Devices Inc. and Huawei Technolgies Inc., to use the Taiwanese chipmaker’s 5nm process technology.

In addition to contract chip production, TSMC has started high-end IC packaging operations in a bid to provide its customers with a wide range of comprehensive services.

The 7 nanometer process is the latest technology the chipmaker has begun mass producing, while the company is also developing the more sophisticated 5mn and 3mn processes.

TSMC is scheduled to launch mass production of the 5nm process in the first half of this year. The 3nm process is expected to begin commercial production in 2022.

Through its partnership with Broadcom, TSMC’s next generation CoWoS packaging services provide bandwidth of up to 2.7 terabytes per second, which is 2.7 times faster than the CoWoS solution the chipmaker previously offered in 2016.

TSMC said with higher memory capacity and bandwidth, the CoWoS solution jointly developed with Broadcom is well-suited for memory-intensive workloads such as deep learning, workloads for 5G networking and power-efficient data centers.

At an investor conference held in mid-January, TSMC said the company expects to benefit from solid demand for smartphones, high performance computer (HPC) devices, Internet of Things related applications and automotive electronics this year.

Amid optimism over global demand, TSMC has devoted itself to high-end technology development, a move expected to boost its global competitive edge and sustain the company’s lead over rivals such as Samsung Electronics Co., which has started advanced technology processes with an eye to gaining a larger share of the global market.

For the development of its high-end processes, TSMC has said capital expenditure for 2020 is expected to range from US$15-16 billion, the highest level in the company’s history.

Currently, TSMC has more than 50 percent of the global pure wafer foundry market.