SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Silicon foundry giant Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (TSMC) posted better-than-expect results in the first quarter of 2009.
During a conference call with analysts, Rick Tsai, president and chief executive of TSMC (Hsinchu, Taiwan), acknowledged that the company had some ''yield'' issues with its new 40-nm process. He also provided some predictions for 2009.
Last year, TSMC rolled out its 40-nm process. In Q1 of 2009, the company's 40-nm process represented about 1 percent of its overall sales, which is better-than-expected. In Q2, TSMC expects to have 2 percent of its overall sales in the 40-nm arena.
When an analyst asked about yield problems with the company's 40-nm process, Tsai said: ''There have been difficulties with the yields. 40-nm is a difficult technology to manufacturer. We understand the root of the problem.''
The TSMC CEO said the company has or is fixing the problem, but he did not elaborate. He also said that TSMC has demonstrated a functional SRAM cell, based on its upcoming 28-nm process, which includes high-k and metal gates for the gate stack.
The 28-nm process will also include a second gate-stack option, based on more conventional silicon dioxide. As previously reported, TSMC is expected to move into 28-nm production in the first part of 2010.