TSMC's Low-K Technology Goes Mainstream

Hsinchu, Taiwan and San Jose, CA, February 3, 2004 - Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSE: 2330, NYSE: TSM), today announced that its industry-leading low-k technology has entered mainstream production following the introduction today of ATI’s MOBILITY RADEON 9700. The introduction of the low-k graphics processor to the notebook PC market reaffirms the arrival of the low-k technology era.

“TSMC is the only semiconductor foundry with two generations of proven low-k technology in production, including both the 0.13-micron and 90nm nodes,” said Genda Hu, vice president of marketing for TSMC. “The volume production of ATI’s MOBILITY RADEON 9700 vividly demonstrates the growing trend toward low-k based products.”

Low-k technology improves device performance while reducing power consumption, making it an ideal choice for both high-performance and low-power applications. TSMC’s low-k technology also offers design ease, which reduces overall design time due to a better power delay trade-off than that of FSG counterpart. This combination allows designers to take immediate advantage of TSMC’s 0.13-micron and 90nm Nexsys(SM) Technology for SoC design. The 90nm Nexsys technology is the first process technology based entirely on low-k dielectrics, and is ramping to production this quarter.”

While many semiconductor companies struggle to qualify low-k manufacturing, TSMC has delivered dozens of low-k customer products into volume production. The company manufactured over 10,000 production wafers using this technology in 2003, and expects to ramp its low-k technology in both 0.13-micron and 90-nm nodes significantly in the coming years. TSMC is expected to deliver over 100,000 low-k wafers in 2004.

TSMC has led the advancement of low-k dielectrics for the past three years. TSMC was the first company to announce its intention to use CVD-based low-k dielectrics in January 2001, and became the first company to production-qualify its 0.13-micron low-k process in August of 2002. TSMC’s 0.13-micron copper/low-k yields now rival those of wafers using traditional FSG dielectrics. More important, TSMC’s proven low-k film, combined with copper interconnects, drives higher device performance and lower power consumption, irrespective of other design enhancements. This means low-k technology will amplify any new semiconductor design improvement.

Moreover, TSMC, in collaboration with leading package service providers, has resolved the package issues that in many cases continue to plague the adoption of low-k technology by other semiconductor companies. Packaging solutions for mainstream package types have been established and are already available from multiple vendors.

ATI’s MOBILITY RADEON 9700 is the first notebook PC 3D graphics processor to be built on a low-k process. This product provides the industry’s fastest mobile clock speeds at a reduced power consumption level.

About TSMC

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 library, IP, design tools and reference flows. The company operates one advanced 300mm wafer fab, five eight-inch fabs and one six-inch wafer fab. TSMC also has substantial capacity commitments at two joint ventures fabs (VIS and SSMC) and at its wholly-owned subsidiary, WaferTech. In early 2001, TSMC became the first IC manufacturer to announce a 90-nm technology alignment program with its customers. TSMC's corporate headquarters are in Hsinchu, Taiwan. For more information about TSMC see http://www.tsmc.com.