Tokyo, Japan–Nov. 2, 2000–Sharp Corp. and Nippon Foundry Inc. (NFI), a UMC Group foundry company, have signed a long-term foundry agreement to meet Sharp’s fast-rising demand for flash memory and other advanced semiconductor devices required for cellular telephones and other digital equipment. Sharp will invest US$64 million (7 billion yen) in NFI to ensure that it has access to the capacity it requires.
The initial capacity agreement is for 6,000 8-inch wafers per month, with this number expected to increase to 10,000 wafers per month by 2002. Production will take place at NFI’s Tateyama, Chiba facility in Japan, and is planned to begin in the second half of 2001.
Sharp’s capital investment of $64 million will supplement NFI’s expansion to meet Sharp’s manufacturing requirements. NFI’s Tateyama facility will be upgraded from the current planned capacity of 34,000 8-inch wafers per month to 40,000 wafers per month.