SAN JOSE, Calif. - Silicon foundry giant Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (TSMC) has approved capital appropriations of $1.88 billion for various fab efforts. It also approved a capital spending plan for a new solar unit in Europe.
The capital spending will be used to set up ''mini-lines'' for the new 300-mm fab in Taichung in central Taiwan. It will be used to expand advanced technology capacity, 300-mm capacity for wafer-level chip-scale packaging, and specialty technology capacity.
TSMC also approved 2011 R&D and sustaining capital appropriations of $803.76 million. And it approved a capital injection of 9.4 million euros ($13.1 million) into TSMC Solar Europe B.V.
The spending plans are part of TSMC's overall capital expenditure efforts.
Raising the stakes in the foundry market, TSMC in July broke ground on its previously-announced, new 300-mm fab. The plant, dubbed Fab 15, is located in Taichungís Central Taiwan Science Park. Construction will be divided into four phases, and total investment over the next several years is expected to exceed NT$300 billion ($9.32 billion).
It is also moving into solar. Last year, the company said it would pay NT$6.2 billion (about $192 million) for a 20 percent stake in Motech Industries Inc. (Tainan, Taiwan). Motech is the largest solar cell manufacturer in Taiwan and was one of the top ten manufacturers worldwide in terms of production capacity and output in 2008.
In March of 2009, TSMC (Hsinchu, Taiwan) 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. It will sell the LEDs under its own brand name.
Continuing to expand into new markets, silicon foundry giant TSMC recently made its formal entry into the solar business. TSMC and Stion Corp., a San Jose-based manufacturer of thin-film solar photovoltaic modules, reached a series of agreements covering technology licensing, supply, and joint development.
In addition, VentureTech Alliance, a TSMC affiliate, will invest $50 million to take a 21 percent stake in Stion. Under the agreements, Stion will also license and transfer its thin-film CIGSS technology to TSMC. The technology is reportedly based on copper indium gallium (di) selenide (CIGS) materials.