HELSINKI, Finland Ė Foundry chip company United Microelectronics Corp. has held a ground breaking ceremony for Phases 5 and 6 (P5 and P6) of its Fab 12A 300-mm wafer fab complex at Tainan, Taiwan.
The expansion is intended to provide manufacturing capacity to extend the company's 28-nm production and to provide the basis for 20-nm and 14-nm production and will ultimately cost nearly $8 billion, the company said.
"UMC remains optimistic about the long-term outlook of the semiconductor and foundry industries. However, with increasing industry volatility, a clearly defined business strategy is needed in order to take full advantage of upcoming market opportunities," said Stan Hung, chairman of UMC, in a statement.
The first four phases of UMC's Fab 12A will have a cumulative capital expenditure of $8 billion. The next two phases will cost nearly $8 billion and there are plans for P7 and P8 in the future, Hung said in the same statement.
P5 and P6 will provide is scheduled for equipment move-in during the second half of 2013. Total cleanroom area is 53,000 square meters, about the size of 10 American football fields. This will contribute 50,000 wafers per month manufacturing capacity, bringing the total monthly design capacity for Fab 12A to 130,000 wafers. With the planned P7 and P8, the eight phase fab complex will have a total capacity of 180,000 wafers per month.
UMC is making a conventionally gated polysilicon SiON 28-nm and has plans to start pilot production of 28-nm gate-last high-K metal gate (HKMG) products in the second half of 2012.
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