December 7, 2017 / 10:23 AM / in a year

TSMC says latest chip plant will cost around $20 bln

TAIPEI, Dec 7 (Reuters) - Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC), supplier to Apple Inc and Qualcomm Inc, on Thursday said a planned new factory would cost the world’s largest contract chipmaker around $20 billion.

TSMC in September said it would build a semiconductor fabrication plant (fab) in Taiwan dedicated to 3 nanometre (nm) technology. It did not say when the project will begin or end.

“This fab could cost upwards of $20 billion and represents TSMC’s commitment to drive technology forward,” Co-Chief Executive Mark Liu, who will succeed Morris Chang as chairman next year, said at the firm’s supply chain management forum.

Liu also identified growth areas as artificial intelligence and fifth-generation mobile communication networks (5G), the chips for which TSMC is already offering.

“Current 5G development progress points to 2019 as the year of volume deployment,” Liu said.

Liu said development of 5 nm technology is on schedule and that TSMC expected “risk” production in the first half of 2019 at a fab for which construction will begin early next year.

Separately, wafer output at TSMC’s first factory in China, which is under construction, will begin in May. (Reporting by Jess Macy Yu; Editing by Christopher Cushing)

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