March 30, 2007 – Winbond Electronics Corp. says it will sell its 200mm DRAM fab in Taiwan’s Hsinchu Science Park to Vanguard International Semiconductor Corp. (VIS) for about $251 million, including the facility and equipment parts, according to local media reports.
The 200mm facility, brought online in 1998, is capable of 40,000 wafers/month for 0.11-micron (DRAM) and 0.13-micron (flash) memory production. The two have also signed a foundry agreement spanning 2008-2011, with VIS giving priority to Winbond for foundry capacity amounting to 700,000 wafers.
Following the sale, Winbond will transfer the capital and IP to its 300mm fab expansion efforts in the Central Taiwan Science Park over a two-year period, and temporarily rent space in the 200mm fab for wafer testing and R&D. Verification and life-cycle periods could hold up formal asset transfer until January 2008, the companies noted, and in the meantime VIS will assist Winbond in implementing logic process technology.
Vanguard had been reportedly shopping around to add badly needed foundry capacity, and earlier this year a similar deal was rumored to be in the works to buy Powerchip’s 200mm Fab 8A (40,000 wafers/month capacity, 0.25-0.15 processes), according to the Taiwan Economic News. The paper reported that Vanguard had received government approval to build a new factory in the Hsinchu park, but the project was seen to be still in the early stages of land appropriation, and taking at least another year to complete. Forbes noted that Powerchip and Vanguard were already partnering to share capacities.