Feb. 1, 2002 – Singapore – AMD and UMC have formed a comprehensive alliance to establish a joint venture to own and operate a 300mm wafer fab in Singapore for high-volume production of PC processors and other logic products.
AMD and UMC also have plans to collaborate on the development of advanced process technologies for logic products.
The companies have signed a foundry agreement under which UMC will produce PC processors to augment AMD’s Dresden Fab 30 production capacity for devices produced on 130nm and smaller geometry technology.
AMD and UMC will form a joint venture known as AU Pte Ltd. to own and operate the Singapore facility. The two companies expect to begin commercial production in the joint venture facility on 65nm technology in mid-2005.
“Today’s agreement reflects a response to the tectonic shift that has changed the fundamental economics of the worldwide semiconductor industry,” said W.J. Sanders III, chairman and CEO of AMD. “The advent of 300mm manufacturing ushers in a new era for the semiconductor industry. Megafabs capable of producing complex semiconductor devices in huge volume on advanced process technologies will deliver significant economic benefits, but also entail significant investment that demands efficient use of capital. In this new competitive environment, I believe strategic alliances between companies will be the wave of the future.”
“In the emerging arena of 300mm manufacturing, the traditional boundaries between these two types of companies will blur as we move toward closer collaboration,” said Robert Tsao, chairman and chief executive officer of UMC.
Hector de J. Ruiz, president and COO of AMD, said that the joint venture with UMC will enable AMD to make the transition to 300mm manufacturing at precisely the right time. “One of the important benefits of working with UMC on technology development is that we will gain immediate access to an existing 300mm wafer fab for R&D activities,” said Ruiz. “In the next few years, we expect to require substantial additional production capacity. We believe the optimum time for us to make the transition to high-volume production on 300mm wafers is in the mid-2005 time frame when we expect to be starting production on the 65nm node.”
Ruiz also cited a process technology development collaboration between AMD and Motorola as a model for future joint efforts with industry-leading partners.