Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) has said that its 16nm FinFET manufacturing process will be at volume levels of production towards the end of this year.
This puts the company ahead of its peers, with much of the industry still ramping up on 20nm production. TSMC itself is still at relatively low volumes for 20nm FinFET, with volume production only starting this month and total production for 2014 expected to be just 10% of the company's output, but be leveraging knowledge gained through creating that process TSMC thinks it can transition to 16nm more rapidly.
"Our 16FinFET yield improvement has been ahead of our plan. This is because we have been leveraging the yield, learning from 20SoC. Currently, the 16FinFET SRAM yield is already close to that of the 20SoC process." said TSMC CEO Mark Liu.
The announcement was made at the company's investor conference where it was discussing its latest financial results. Partially thanks to this speedy transition to 16nm TSMC expects full year sales and profits to improve by 10%.
As well as financial positives for TSMC, the move to 16nm FinFET will have performance advantages too with the company estimating improvements of around 15%. "It will be the highest performance technology amongst all available 16 and 14nm technologies in 2014. This progress is well ahead of Samsung," Liu boasted.
Liu also revealed that 20 products based on the 16nm process were scheduled for production in 2014.
TSMC is the largest contract semiconductor manufacturer in the world with it producing the likes of Nvidia's graphics card chips as well as working with AMD, Apple, Qualcomm, VIA and many others.