Trade & Investment

UMC begins construction of 12-inch fab in Xiamen

Updated: 2015-04-02
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United Semiconductor (Xiamen) or United Semi, a subsidiary of United Microelectronics Corporation (UMC) in Xiamen, has begun construction of its new 12-inch fab, which is scheduled to enter trial production at the end of 2016 and begin mass production in 2017, according to industry sources.

UMC chairman Stan Hung presided over a groundbreaking ceremony for the 12-inch fab on March 26, with participants in the event including Derek Aberle, president of Qualcomm, indicated the sources.

The 12-inch wafer fab is a 3-way joint venture between UMC and Xiamen Municipal Government and Fujian Electronics and Information Group. Total investment of the project will reach US$6.2 billion.

The joint venture has a paid-in capital of US$2.07 billion, and UMC will invest up to NT$1.35 billion in the next five years in the joint venture, according to data released by the Industrial Development Bureau (IDB) of the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA).

At the initial state, the fab will be confined to producing chips using 55nm and 40nm processes, IDB noted.

Utilizing 55 nm and 40nm processes, United Semi can roll out embedded chips for smart cards and MCUs, as well as fingerprint sensors and CMOS imager sensors for IoT applications, Aberle said as quoted by the Chinese-language Commercial Times.

Qualcomm is very optimistic about United Semi and will deepen its cooperation with UMC, said Aberle, adding that Qualcomm is likely to produce chips at the 12-inch fab.

Monthly capacity at the fab will grow to 20,000 12-inch wafers in 2017 from 5,000-6,000 in 2016, and ultimately reach 50,000, according to a previous Digitimes report.
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