SAN FRANCISCOChip foundry United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC) and Taiwan-based LED supplier Epistar Corp. have formed an LED chip joint venture based in Mainland China.
Epistar (Hsinchu, Taiwan) revealed in two separate filings with the Taiwan Stock Exchange Monday (Dec. 21) that it plans to invest $128 million in two China-based ventures, including $120 million in an LED epiwafer and chip manufacturing venture tentatively called Changzhou Co.
In the second filing, Epistar said it would invest $8 million in another LED epiwafer and chip venture in China, United LED Corp. UMC said in a filing dated Dec. 15 that it would also invest $8 million in a Mainland China venture called United LED Corp. A spokesperson for UMC Wednesday confirmed that the firm is joint venture between UMC and Epistar.
United LED is based in the province of Shandong, in the eastern coastal area of China, according to the filings.
On Monday, Taiwan-based IT news service Digitimes reported that Epistar and UMC will each have a 50 percent stake in United LED.
On Wednesday, UMC said in a regulatory filing of its own that it would invest $1 million in a company called U-Lighting Opto Electronic Inc. also based in Shandong through a firm called United Lighting Opto-Electronics Investment Ltd. It was not immediately clear whether this investment is related to United LED.
In the Dec. 15 filing, UMC described the main business of United LED as LED chip design, manufacture and sales.
UMC's rival, No. 1 foundry Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., earlier this month announced it has developed modular bipolar, CMOS DMOS process technologies targeting high voltage integrated LED driver devices.
In another filing dated Monday, Epistar said it does not have plans to build a factory in the Chinese city of Suzhou, contrary to a report published in Taiwan's Economic Daily News.