Taipei--Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC, ???), the world's largest contract chip maker, reiterated Monday that Taiwan remains its top choice for a plan to build a sophisticated 3 nanometer process plant.
TSMC repeated Monday that Taiwan is its first choice for the 3nm process development after the Liberty Times reported that the chip maker will build the advanced plant in the United States due to concerns over an unstable power supply in Taiwan.
TSMC denied the Liberty Times' report, saying that the company has no plan to invest in a 3nm process plant in the U.S., although it will continue to evaluate its options.
The chip maker added that it will finalize the 3nm process investment plan in the first half of next year.
TSMC's latest mass production technology is based on the 10nm process, which was introduced in the fourth quarter of last year. The chip maker is currently devoting considerable effort to developing 7nm, 5nm and 3nm processes in a bid to maintain its lead over its peers in the global wafer foundry business.
Mass production of chips made using the 7nm process is scheduled for 2018, according to TSMC.
TSMC currently accounts for a more-than 50 percent share of the global contract chip production market.
Fears that TSMC will build a 3nm process plant in the U.S. have been escalating since Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., an assembler of iPhones and iPads for Apple Inc., announced late last month that it will invest US$10 billion to build a flat panel plant in Wisconsin.
The Liberty Times said that wafer plants consume massive amounts of power, adding that the local industry suffers from a long-term unstable electricity supply, although the government is pushing for development of renewable energy such as solar and wind power.
The power supply has been getting tight in Taiwan, as temperatures have repeatedly hit record highs. On Monday, power consumption soared, triggering a red-light alert for the country's power supply sector for the first time in 15 years, after temperatures in Taipei hit 38.5 degrees Celsius at 1:57 p.m.
A red alert means that the power reserves have dropped below 900,000 kilowatts, while a black alert shows that reserves have fallen to less than 500,000 kW, making power rationing necessary.
TSMC said that if it is informed of power rationing, the firm will kick off its own emergency power generation system to make up the shortfall in electricity supply in a bid to ensure that its operations remain normal.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel