In May 2019 CC Wei, TSMC's CEO, told financial analysts that he expected the company to begin 'chiplet' style production with its System-on-Integrated Circuit (SoIC) 3D packaging system in 2021 (see TSMC preps for 'chiplet' style manufacturing in 2021). This would be consistent with the expected opening up of the Miaoli facility. At the time Wei said that the packaging style was being well received in the mobile and high-performance computing sectors and that his company has an inquiry from an automotive chip company.
The SoIC manufacturing/packaging approach is supported by EDA software supplier Cadence Design Systems Inc. and is said to be suitable for 5G, AI, IoT and automotive applications.
Another piece of evidence pointing to a major investment in Miaoli is that on May 12 TSMC's board of directors approved capital appropriations of approximately NT$168.3 billion (about US$5.6 billion).
The purposes for this money included: 1) fab construction and installation of fab facility systems; 2) Installation and upgrade of advanced technology capacity; 3) Installation of specialty technology capacity; 4) Third quarter 2020 R&D capital investments and sustaining capital expenditures.
This large amount of spending would be consistent with a more aggressive move into advanced packaging in support of chiplet-style manufacturing.
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