Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Inc. (TSE: 2330, NYSE: TSM) announced the foundry industry’s first multi-layer mask service (MLM) for 90nm, 80nm and 65nm advanced process technologies. MLM service is another mask service TSMC offers beyond multi-project wafer prototyping service, CyberShuttle(SM), and normal production tape-out to enable maximum customer flexibility. MLM is especially appropriate for prototyping single or multi-chip verifications or small volume production runs.
The MLM service reduces the number of masks used by placing images with the same mask grade from several mask layers onto one reticle. Consequently, customers only pay for the actual number of reticles made plus the data processing of each mask layer. A special in-fab IT system automates the reticle handling and the wafer process flow. The same wafer acceptance criteria used in normal mask sets are applied so wafers achieve identical process and quality results.
“Configuring four mask layers onto a single reticle generates the ideal cost-to-performance ratio,” said Ed Chen, senior director of Strategic and Service Marketing at TSMC. “The savings in mask costs enables our customers to enter advanced technologies with lower NRE investment. We emphasize flexibility so that companies can launch tape-out at anytime and, subsequently can carry out full package or board level development if needed,” he added. As of Q4’07, TSMC has successfully completed and delivered over a score of MLM service runs in 90nm, 80nm and 65nm, across different product segments.
TSMC is the world’s largest dedicated semiconductor foundry, providing the industry’s leading process technology and the foundry industry’s largest portfolio of process-proven libraries, IP, design tools and reference flows. The Company’s total managed capacity in 2006 exceeded seven million (8-inch equivalent) wafers, including capacity from two advanced 12-inch GigaFabs, four eight-inch fabs, one six-inch fab, as well as TSMC’s wholly owned subsidiaries, WaferTech and TSMC (Shanghai), and its joint venture fab, SSMC. TSMC is the first foundry to provide 65nm production capabilities. Its corporate headquarters are in Hsinchu, Taiwan.