May 24, 2007 – After seeing 300mm fab capacity utilization rates decay to barely 60% in 1Q07, UMC chairman Jackson Hu is confident that rates will climb back up to 75% in 2Q, and then “sharply” rise in 3Q, according to a report in the Taiwan Economic News.
Hu projects that capacity at Fab 12A in Tainan’s Southern Taiwan Science Park will bump up about 14% between now and 3Q, to about 40,000 wafers/month, just as the company looks to enter a new boom cycle starting in June, with new 300mm orders recently received from Texas Instruments, Nvidia, and AMD.
Based on current 35,000 WPM capacity, a 75% utilization rate suggests wafer starts are around 26,000 WPM, and will climb rapidly.
Hu noted that Fab 12B, located nearby in the Tainan science park, has begun mainbody-structure construction, with projected monthly capacity of 50,000 WPM, according to the paper. UMC also plans to shift its R&D base to the park from southern Taiwan in the future, he added.