LONDON Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (Hsinchu, Taiwan) has held a groundbreaking ceremony for an R&D center and wafer fab to develop and make light emitting diodes for lighting applications.
The move marks a major change at TSMC which has until this point been focused on the foundry supply of integrated circuits.
The LED fab is located in the Hsinchu Science Park and will be built in two phases. Investment in plant and equipment for the first phase is expected to reach NT$5.5 billion ($170 million), and equipment move-in is scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2010 with volume production in the first quarter of 2011.
The equipment being moved in will include between eight and 12 metal-organic chemical vapor deposition machines, according to a report. According to reports TSMC plans to recruit 130 workers to operate the plant. TSMC said it is seeking talent for its LED lighting business in areas including technology development, process integration, product mechanical engineering, packaging, testing, equipment engineering, facilities, and business development.
TSMC said it would make a decision about construction of the second phase based on future business.
"To further strengthen long-term growth in TSMC's revenues and profits, we not only continue to pursue excellence in the field of dedicated IC foundry, we are also developing new businesses such as LED lighting and solar power," said TSMC chairman and CEO Morris Chang, in a statement. "With the leadership of President Dr. Rick Tsai and the hard work of all the colleagues involved, the strategy, goals, and execution of our new businesses have developed very successfully in the past several months. The groundbreaking for our LED lighting R&D center and fab is an excellent example, and I look forward to even more progress once construction is complete."
"LED lighting is a promising industry, and we will make full use of TSMC's technology leadership and manufacturing excellence in semiconductors to develop and integrate LED technology, process, and packaging and testing," said Tsai, TSMC's president of new businesses. "We will enter the market next year by offering LED light sources and light engines to pursue the broad business opportunities of the LED lighting industry."
TSMC announced in 2009 that it was investigating moves into green technologies in which it could leverage its semiconductor manufacturing expertise such as solar power and LEDs for lighting. TSMC approved the appropriation of $50 million for possible use in solar energy-related areas in
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