Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Limited (TSMC; Chinese: 台灣積體電路製造股份有限公司) is a Taiwanese multinational semiconductor contract manufacturing and design company. It is one of Taiwan's largest companies,[3][4] the world's most valuable semiconductor company,[5] and the world's largest dedicated independent (pure-play) semiconductor foundry,[6] with its headquarters and main operations located in the Hsinchu Science Park in Hsinchu, Taiwan. TSMC has a global capacity of about 13 million 300 mm (12 in) equivalent wafers per year as of 2020, and makes chips for customers with process nodes from 2 micron to 7 nanometers. TSMC is the first foundry to provide 7 nanometer production capabilities and the first to commercialize extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUV) technology in high volume.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited (TSMC)
Native name
Traded as
FoundedIndustrial Technology Research Institute, Hsinchu, Taiwan.
(1987; 33 years ago (1987))
FounderMorris Chang
Area served
Key people
  • Mark Liu (Chairman)
  • C.C. Wei (President and CEO)
Production output
  • Increase10,745,000 12-inch equivalent wafers (2018)
BrandsCyberShuttle prototyping service, Open Innovation Platform, eFoundry online services
ServicesManufacture of Integrated circuits and related services
  • IncreaseNT$383,623.524 billion (US$12.712 billion) (2018)
  • IncreaseNT$351,184.406 billion (US$11.638 billion) (2018)
Total assets
  • IncreaseNT$1,991.861 billion (US$67.023 billion) (2018)
Total equity
  • IncreaseNT$1,552.759 billion (US$52.248 billion) (2018)
Number of employees
48,752 (2018)
  • WaferTech
  • SSMC
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese台灣積體電路製造公司
Simplified Chinese台湾积体电路制造公司
Traditional Chinese台積電
Simplified Chinese台积电
Footnotes / references


Founded in Taiwan in 1987 by Morris Chang, TSMC was the world's first dedicated semiconductor foundry and has long been the leading company in its field.[7][8] When Chang retired in 2018, after 31 years of TSMC leadership, Mark Liu and C. C. Wei, both high ranking TSMC leaders, became Chairman and Chief Executive respectively.[9][10] It is listed on both the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TWSE: 2330) since 1993; in 1997 it became the first Taiwanese company to be listed in the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: TSM). Since 1994, TSMC has had a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17.4% in revenue and a CAGR of 16.1% in earnings.[11]

Most of the leading fabless semiconductor companies such as Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), Apple Inc., Broadcom Inc., Marvell, MediaTek, Nvidia, and Qualcomm are customers of TSMC, as well as emerging companies such as Allwinner Technology, HiSilicon, Spectra7, and Spreadtrum.[12] Leading programmable logic device companies Xilinx and previously Altera also make or made use of TSMC's foundry services.[13] Some integrated device manufacturers that have their own fabrication facilities like Intel, STMicroelectronics and Texas Instruments outsource some of their production to TSMC.[14][15] At least one semiconductor company, LSI, re-sells TSMC wafers through its ASIC design services and design IP-portfolio.

The company has been increasing and upgrading its manufacturing capacity for most of its existence, although influenced by the demand cycles of the semiconductor industry. In 2011, the company planned to increase research and development expenditures by almost 39% to NT$50 billion in an effort to fend off growing competition.[16] The company also planned to expand capacity by 30% in 2011 to meet strong market demand.[17] In May 2014, TSMC's board of directors approved capital appropriations of US$568 million to establish, convert, and upgrade advanced technology capacity[18] after the company forecast higher than expected demand.[19] In August 2014, TSMC's board of directors approved additional capital appropriations of US$3.05 billion.[20]

In 2011, it was reported that TSMC had begun trial production of the A5 SoC and A6 SoCs for Apple's iPad and iPhone devices.[21][22] According to reports,[23] as of May 2014, Apple is sourcing its new A8 and A8X SoCs from TSMC[24][25] and later sourced the A9 SoC with both TSMC and Samsung (to increase volume for iPhone 6s launch) with the A9X being exclusively made by TSMC, thus resolving the issue of sourcing a chip in two different microarchitecture sizes. Apple has become TSMC's most important customer.[25][26]

TSMC's revenue in the first quarter of 2020 reached US$10 billion,[27] while its market capitalization was US$254 billion.[28] TSMC's market capitalization reached a value of NT$1.9 trillion (US$63.4 billion) in December 2010.[29] It was ranked 70th in the FT Global 500 2013 list of the world's most highly valued companies with a capitalization of US$86.7 billion,[30] while reaching US$110 billion in May 2014.[31] In March 2017, TSMC's market capitalisation surpassed that of semiconductor giant Intel for the first time, hitting NT$5.14 trillion (US$168.4 billion), with Intel's at US$165.7 billion.[32] On June 27 2020, TSMC briefly became the world's 10th most valuable company, with a market capitalization of US$410 billion. [33]

In July 2020, TSMC confirmed it would halt the shipment of silicon wafers to Chinese telecommunications equipment manufacturer Huawei and its subsidiary HiSilicon by the 14th of September.[34][35]

GlobalFoundries vs. TSMC et alEdit

On 26 August 2019, GlobalFoundries filed patent infringement lawsuits against TSMC in the US and Germany. GlobalFoundries claim TSMC's 7 nm, 10 nm, 12 nm, 16 nm, and 28 nm nodes have infringed on 16 of their patents. Lawsuits were filed in the U.S. International Trade Commission, the U.S. Federal District Courts in the Districts of Delaware and the Western District of Texas, and the Regional Courts of Düsseldorf and Mannheim in Germany.[36] GlobalFoundries has named 20 defendants: Apple, Broadcom, MediaTek, Nvidia, Qualcomm, Xilinx, Arista, ASUS, BLU, OnePlus, Avnet|Avnet/EBV, Digi-Key and Mouser.[37] On 27 August, TSMC announced they are reviewing the complaints filed, but are confident that the allegations are baseless and will vigorously defend their proprietary technology.[38]

On 1 October 2019, TSMC filed patent infringement lawsuits against GlobalFoundries in the US, Germany and Singapore. TSMC claim GlobalFoundries' 12 nm, 14 nm, 22 nm, 28 nm and 40 nm nodes have infringed on 25 of their patents.[39]

On 29 October 2019, TSMC and GlobalFoundries announced a resolution to the dispute. The companies agreed to a new life-of-patents cross-license for all of their existing semiconductor patents as well as new patents to be filed by the companies in the next ten years.[40][41][42][43][44]


TSMC’s N7+ is the first commercially available extreme ultraviolet lithographic process in the semiconductor industry.[45] It uses ultraviolet patterning and enables more acute circuits to be implemented on the silicon. Compared with the previous technology node, N7+ offers a 15-20% higher transistor density and 10% reduction in power consumption.[46][47] The volume increase TSMC managed from the N7 was the fastest ever to meet time to market, faster than 10nm and 16nm.[48] The N5 iteration doubles transistor density and improves performance by an additional 15%.[49][50]

Production capabilitiesEdit

On 300 mm (12 in), TSMC has silicon lithography on node sizes:

  • 0.13 μm (options: general-purpose (G), low-power (LP), high-performance low-voltage (LV)).
  • 90 nm (based upon 80GC from Q4/2006),
  • 65 nm (options: general-purpose (GP), low-power (LP), ultra-low power (ULP), LPG).
  • 55 nm (options: general-purpose (GP), low-power (LP)).
  • 40 nm (options: general-purpose (GP), low-power (LP), ultra-low power (ULP)).[51]
  • 28 nm (options: high-performance (HP), high-performance mobile (HPM), high-performance computing (HPC), high-performance low-power (HPL), low-power (LP), high-performance computing Plus (HPC+), ultra-low power (ULP)) with HKMG.[52]
  • 22 nm (options: ultra-low power (ULP), ultra-low leakage (ULL))[53]
  • 20 nm[54]
  • 16 nm (options: FinFET (FF), FinFET Plus (FF+), FinFET Compact (FFC))[55]
  • 12 nm (options: FinFET Compact (FFC), FinFET NVIDIA (FFN)), enhanced version of 16 nm process.[56]
  • 10 nm (options: FinFET (FF))[57]
  • 7 nm (options: FinFET (FF), FinFET Plus (FF+), FinFET Pro (FFP), high-performance computing (HPC))[58]
  • 6 nm (options: FinFET (FF)), risk production starting in Q1 2020, enhanced version of 7 nm process.[59]
  • 5 nm (options: FinFET (FF)).

It also offers "design for manufacturing" (DFM) customer services.[60]

In press publications, these processes will often be referenced, for example, for the mobile variant, simply by 7nmFinFET or even more briefly by 7FF.

TSMC is at the beginning of 2019 advertising N7+, N7, and N6 as its leading edge technologies.[59]

As of June 2020, TSMC is the manufacturer selected for production of Apple's 5 nanometer ARM processors, as "the company plans to eventually transition the entire Mac lineup to its Arm-based processors, including the priciest desktop computers".[61]


The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070, which uses a 16 nm Pascal chip manufactured by TSMC

Apart from its main base of operations in Hsinchu in Northern Taiwan, where several of its fab facilities are located, it also has leading-edge fabs in Southern Taiwan and Central Taiwan, with other fabs located at its subsidiaries TSMC China in Shanghai, China, WaferTech in Washington state, United States, and SSMC in Singapore,[62] and it has offices in China, Europe, India, Japan, North America, and South Korea.[63]

The following fabs are in operation as of 2020:[62]

  • Four 300 mm (12 in) "GIGAFABs" in operation in Taiwan: Fab 12 (Hsinchu), 14 (Tainan), 15 (Taichung), 18 (Tainan)
  • Four 200 mm (8 in) wafer fabs in full operation in Taiwan: Fab 3, 5, 8 (Hsinchu) , 6 (Tainan)
  • TSMC China Company Limited, 200 mm (8 in): Fab 10 (Shanghai)
  • TSMC Nanjing Company Limited, 300 mm (12 in): Fab 16 (Nanjing)
  • WaferTech L.L.C., TSMC's wholly owned US subsidiary, a 200 mm (8 in) fab: Fab 11 (Camas, Washington)
  • SSMC (Systems on Silicon Manufacturing Co.), a joint venture with NXP Semiconductors in Singapore, 200 mm (8 in), where production started at the end of 2002
  • One 150 mm (6 in) wafer fab in full operation in Taiwan: Fab 2 (Hsinchu)

Fab under construction as of 2020:

  • Fab 18, 300 mm (12 in) (Tainan), phase 3 and 4

Fab planned as of 2020:

  • Arizona, USA (planned groundbreaking 2021, anticipated to use 5nm process)[64]

TSMC has four Backend Fabs under operation: Fab 1 (Hsinchu), 2 (Tainan), 3 (Taoyuan City), and 5 (Taichung)

In 2020, TSMC announced a planned fab in Arizona, USA, intended to begin production by 2024 at a rate of 20,000 wafers per month. As of 2020, TSMC announced that it would bring its newest 5nm process to the Arizona facility, a significant break from its prior practice of limiting US fabs to older technologies. At launch it will be the most advanced fab in the United States.[65]

The investment of US$9.4 billion to build its third 300 mm (12 in) wafer fabrication facility in Central Taiwan Science Park (Fab 15) was originally announced in 2010.[66] The facility was expected to output over 100,000 wafers a month and generate $5 billion per year of revenue.[67] TSMC has continued to expand advanced 28 nm manufacturing capacity at Fab 15.[68]

On 12 January 2011, TSMC announced the acquisition of land from Powerchip Semiconductor for NT$2.9 billion (US$96 million) to build two additional 300 mm (12 in) fabs to cope with increasing global demand,[69] which would result in Fab 12B.

WaferTech subsidiaryEdit

WaferTech, a subsidiary of TSMC, is a pure-play semiconductor foundry located in Camas, Washington, USA. It is the second largest pure-play foundry in the United States. The facility employs 1100 workers.[citation needed] The largest is GlobalFoundries Fab 8 in Malta, NY, which employes over 3,000 workers with over 278,709 m2 (3,000,000 sq ft) under rooftop.

WaferTech was established in June 1996 as a joint venture with TSMC, Altera, Analog Devices, and ISSI as key partners. The four companies along with minor individual investors invested US$1.2 billion into this venture, which was at the time the single largest startup investment in the state of Washington. The company started production in July 1998 in its 200 mm (8 in) semiconductor fabrication plant. Its first product was a 0.35 micrometer part for Altera.[citation needed]

TSMC bought out the joint venture partners in 2000 and acquired full control, and currently operates it as a fully owned subsidiary.[70]

WaferTech is based in Camas, 32 km (20 mi) outside of Portland, Oregon. The WaferTech campus contains a 9.3 ha (23 acres) complex housed on 105 ha (260 acres). The main fabrication facility consists of a 12,000 m2 (130,000 sq ft) 200 mm (8 in) wafer fabrication plant.[citation needed]

Sales and market trendsEdit

Yearly revenues in million NT$[71]
1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006
43,927 50,422 73,067 166,189 125,881 162,301 202,997 257,213 266,565 317,407
2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
322,631 333,158 295,742 419,538 427,081 506,754 597,024 762,806 843,497 947,938
2017 2018 2019
977,477 1,031,474 1,069,985
Quarterly revenues in million NT$[72]
Year Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4
2012 105,615 128,186 141,499 131,445
2013 132,755 155,886 162,577 145,806
2014 148,215 183,020 209,050 222,520
2015 222,034 205,440 212,505 203,518
2016 203,495 221,810 260,406 262,227
2017 233,914 213,855 252,107 277,570
2018 248,079 233,276 260,348 289,771
2019 218,704 240,999 293,045 317,237
2020 310,600 310,700 356,430

TSMC and the rest of the foundry industry are exposed to the highly cyclical nature of the semiconductor industry. During upturns, TSMC must ensure that it has enough production capacity to meet strong customer demand. However, during downturns, it must contend with excess capacity because of weaker demand, and the high fixed costs associated with its manufacturing facilities.[73] As a result, the company's financial results tend to fluctuate with a cycle time of a few years. This is more apparent in earnings than revenues because of the general trend of revenue and capacity growth. TSMC's business has generally also been seasonal with a peak in Q3 and a low in Q1.

In 2014, TSMC was at the forefront of the foundry industry for high-performance, low-power applications,[74][75] leading major smartphone chip companies such as Qualcomm,[76][77] Mediatek[77][78] and Apple[24][26] to place an increasing amount of orders.[74] While the competitors in the foundry industry (primarily GlobalFoundries and United Microelectronics Corporation) have encountered difficulties ramping leading-edge 28 nm capacity,[78] the leading Integrated Device Manufacturers such as Samsung and Intel that seek to offer foundry capacity to third parties were also unable to match the requirements for advanced mobile applications.[75]

For most of 2014, TSMC saw a continuing increase in revenues due to increased demand, primarily due to chips for smartphone applications. TSMC raised its financial guidance in March 2014 and posted ‘unseasonably strong’ first-quarter results.[19][79] For Q2 2014, revenues came in at NT$183 billion, with 28 nm technology business growing more than 30% from the previous quarter.[80] Lead times for chip orders at TSMC increased due to a tight capacity situation, putting fabless chip companies at risk of not meeting their sales expectations or shipment schedules,[81] and in August 2014 it was reported that TSMC's production capacity for the fourth quarter of 2014 was already almost fully booked, a scenario that had not occurred for many years, which was described as being due to a ripple-effect due to TSMC landing CPU orders from Apple.[82]

However, monthly sales for 2014 peaked in October, decreasing by 10% in November due to cautious inventory adjustment actions taken by some of its customers.[83] TSMC's revenue for 2014 saw growth of 28% over the previous year, while TSMC forecasted that revenue for 2015 would grow by 15 to 20 percent from 2014, thanks to strong demand for its 20 nm process, new 16 nm FinFET process technology as well as continuing demand for 28 nm, and demand for less advanced chip fabrication in its 200 mm (8 in) fabs.[83]

In October 2014, ARM and TSMC announced a new multi-year agreement for the development of ARM based 10 nm FinFET processors.[84]


In July 2020 TSMC signed a 20 year deal with Ørsted to buy the entire production of two offshore wind farms under development off Taiwan’s west coast. At the time of its signing it was the largest corporate green energy order ever made.[85]

See alsoEdit


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External linksEdit