© UMC Business | April 30, 2021
UMC to expand capacity at its 300mm Fab 12A P6 in Tainan
Taiwanese semiconductor foundry, United Microelectronics Corporation (UMC), is planning to expand capacity at its 300mm Fab 12A Phase 6 (P6) in Taiwan’s Tainan Science Park through a collaboration model with several of its global customers. In total NTD 100 billion (EUR 2.96 billion) will be invested to bump up production.
Under the arrangement, the customers will make a deposit that secures their long-term chip supply at P6 using pre-determined pricing. The P6 expansion is scheduled for production in the second quarter of 2023, with total investment for the project earmarked at NTD 100 billion (about EUR 2.96 billion), a press release reads. This investment is in addition to UMC’s previously announced 2021 CAPEX of USD 1.5 billion (EUR 1.24 billion), for which the bulk is allocated towards equipment for the company’s Fab 12A P5 site adjacent to P6, total UMC investment in the Tainan Science Park will reach approximately NTD 150 billion (EUR 4.44 billion) over the next three years. "UMC’s expansion plans follow a return based strategy that focuses on business growth while maintaining sustainable profitability. At the same time, we are constantly exploring innovative methods to enhance the competitiveness of our customers. Recent market dynamics have provided us and our customers an opportunity to reinforce our capital expenditure strategy within our ROI boundary, while trying to alleviate the long term capacity constraint in the supply chain. Within these mature 12" and 8" nodes lies many critical components that play a vital role in the IC supply chain; the combination of these conditions lead us to believe that our role and position as a foundry service are experiencing a structural change that requires an innovative win-win collaboration model in order to help alleviate the industry wide chip shortage,” says Stan Hung, chairman of UMC. SC Chien, co-president at UMC, says in the press release that the P6 site will be equipped with 28nm tools that have the flexibility to produce smaller nodes down to 14nm, and thus create a straightforward migration path to accommodate customers’ future development roadmaps. “Furthermore, the building structure for UMC’s Fab 12A P6 is already built, adding a significant time-to-market advantage versus building a new fab from scratch. We look forward to leveraging our No. 1 worldwide foundry market position in multiple areas such as 28nm OLED driver IC production so we may further strengthen UMC’s semiconductor industry position and capture new market opportunities down the road,” SC Chien says. UMC has operated in the Tainan Science Park since November 1999, when Fab 12A was established. The Fab 12A is currently operating at a capacity of approximately 90'000 300mm wafers per month, with an additional 10'000 wafers per month being installed at P5 starting in 2021. The P6 project will add 27.5'000 more wafers per month production capability when fully equipped. With UMC planning to hire an additional 1'000 employees to support this and other areas of the company’s operations.
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