TSMC buys $99 million of land from PowerChip

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) is once again splashing its cash. It announced that it will be purchasing a 218,156 square metre plot of land, located at the Hsinchu Science Park in northern Taiwan, from Powerchip Technology for US $99.55 million (NT$2.9 billion).

The company will be getting more for its buck as the acquisition also includes an empty 12-inch fab and offices on the site.

A filing to the Taiwan Stock Exchange says the factory and office buildings are under construction. It adds that two advanced 300mm wafer fabs will be built on the site, as part of its “GigaFab” project, which highlights the fabs that each can put out 250,000 wafers of chips a month.

Suppliers of chip-making equipment told Taiwan Economic News that the land will be convenient for TSMC to quickly roll out 28nm and 40nm processes which are high in demand. They added that the land with completed beam structures was originally designed by PSC to turn out 60,000 wafers a month.

It seems the economic downturn was the key to TSMC acquiring the land with the Taipei Times reporting that the deal was part of Powerchip’s efforts to sell non-core businesses to improve its financial structure and to increase operating capital. Its aim was to get its operations back on track amid the industry’s slump.

This has clearly helped with TSMC’s domination and the company has been buying fabs and land left, right and centre over the past few months. In December it announced plans to build a mega fab with production capacity in the region of 100,000 300mm wafers per month, with construction expected to begin in 2014.

The announcement formed the fourth in a series of similar builds, which are at various stages of development for the firm.