SAN JOSE, Calif. - The Taiwan government has approved Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd.'s application to upgrade its 200-mm fab in Shanghai, China to 0.13-micron technology, according to a report from Reuters.
In the past, TSMC was limited to 0.25-micron processes in China by the Taiwan government. Then, the rules were relaxed to 0.18-micron processes in the fab.
Fair or not, the Taiwan government wants to keep leading-edge chip production on the island.
TSMC's leading-edge fabs are still in Taiwan. Seeking to take the technology lead in the silicon foundry business, TSMC recently put a new spin on its strategy: After the 28-nm node, it plans to skip the 22-nm ''full node'' and will move directly to the 20-nm ''half node.'' That production will be in Taiwan.
Still, TSMC is behind the curve in China. China's Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. (SMIC) is ramping up its 65-nm production in that nation.
Hynix Semiconductor Inc. is making leading-edge memories in China. And Intel Corp. plans to make 65-nm devices within its new fab in China.