May 2, 2006 – Taiwanese foundry United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC) has announced a partnership with SEMATECH’s R&D fab subsidiary Advanced Technology Development Facility (ATDF) to develop leading-edge transistor technologies.
Under the deal, ATDF will manage three custom technology development projects over the next year, involving approximately 30 engineers and technicians from both companies.
“We view this as an excellent opportunity to co-develop technologies for future devices that will grow our customer base, and hone our competitive edge,” stated Mike Ma, deputy division
director of exploratory technologies for central R&D of UMC.
UMC has stood out as the only major foundry player without participation in some kind of partnership or consortium to develop leading-edge process technologies. Rival TSMC works with Philips, STMicroelectronics, and Freescale Semiconductor as part of the Crolles2 Alliance, while Chartered is allied with IBM, and SMIC has ties to Infineon and Toshiba.
In 2005 rankings by Gartner Dataquest, UMC lagged behind total foundry industry growth, posting a 19% decline in revenues to $2.82 billion, vs. an industry-average decline of 2.5%. TSMC widened its market lead by posting a 7.2% sales increase to $8.22 billion, while SMIC boosted sales by 20% to take the No. 3 spot from Chartered, which saw sales rise 2.6% during the year.