LONDON – Foundry United Microelectronics Corp. is set to benefit from the deal cut by Texas Instruments to acquire a 300-mm wafer fab from Spansion Japan.
The company said it would get 300-mm CMOS chip manufacturing tools quicker and at lower cost than it could by ordering them from manufacturers, where lead times are extensive. UMC (Hsinchu, Taiwan) did not say how many tools it would be buying, how much it would be spending, or by how much it could increase its manufacturing capacity.
TI is buying two wafer fabs in Japan to expand its analog manufacturing capacity; one that processes 200-mm wafer and one that was not operational but which has some 300-mm equipment installed. TI plans to ramp the 200-mm fab immediately while holding off on the second fab. TI is therefore moving equipment in the 300-mm fab out to its new 300-mm plant in Texas and selling some of the 300-mm equipment to UMC and others.
"Our mutually strong relationship with TI provides us this opportunity to work together to obtain leading-edge 300mm fab equipment at a lower cost and with faster delivery times, compared to placing orders for new equipment," said Shih-Wei Sun, CEO of UMC, in a statement. "These significant advantages will help us better address our customers' advanced production needs as demand for our foundry services continues to be strong."
"UMC is an important foundry partner to us, and we are pleased that we can support them and work closely with them in adding new capacity for customers," said Kevin Ritchie, senior vice president and manager of TI's technology and manufacturing group, in the same statement.
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