Taiwan's United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC) is apparently planning to "liquidate" its fab operation in Singapore and will fold the former joint venture into the parent company.
The fab venture, dubbed UMCi Pte. Ltd., is a 300-mm plant that is located Singapore's Pasir Ris Wafer Park. The fab produced 29,000 8-inch-equivalent wafers in the third quarter, up from 9,000 units in the second quarter.
"In 4Q04, as we expect to liquidate UMCi in order to prepare for the acquisition by UMC, we expect to book a one-time impairment loss of NT$3.5 billion (US$104.2 million) to recognize the difference between the book value and market value of UMCi," according to a statement by UMC (Hsinchu, Taiwan).
The silicon foundry provider disclosed its plans for UMCi during its third-quarter results on Wednesday (Oct. 27). The move by UMC to absorb UMCi was not a surprise, given that the operation was no longer operating as a joint venture.
In 2000, Germany's Infineon Technologies AG and UMC announced plans to form the 300-mm silicon foundry company in Singapore. The total capitalization of the venture is $3.6 billion. UMCi was officially formed in April 2001 by Infineon, UMC, and Singapore's Economic Development Board investment arm (EDBI).
Later, Advanced Micro Devices Inc. became a technology partner in the fab. But last year, AMD switched partners, announcing that it would work with IBM Microelectronics to co-develop process technology at the 65- and 45-nm nodes. The deal apparently marked an end to AMD's arrangement with UMC. Last year, UMC also bought out Infineon's share in UMCi.