UMC, TSMC eyeing CPU, flash inroads

May 7, 2007 – Taiwan foundry giant United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC) is eager to expand its business with makers of CPUs and flash memory devices for its 65nm and 45nm process technologies, and is open to filling its 300mm fabs with memory business, according to top exec Jackson Hu, cited by the Taiwan Economic News making statements at a recent investor conference.

The move is expected to bring in more business as IDMs are forced to make decisions at leading-edge nodes: develop your own technologies or partner up with other chipmakers and foundries. Two recent examples, Texas Instruments and Crolles2, show the growing popularity of chipmakers abandoning their own CMOS development after the 45nm node.

The paper noted that UMC is eager to claim business for flash memory that it currently receives from fabless affiliates.

UMC isn’t alone in widening the scope of its business. TSMC also wants flash memory customers as well as CPU business, and is developing the “bulk logic” process to woo Intel, the paper noted. TSMC recently began making flash chips for Spansion, and its NOR flash chips represent >10,000 wafers/month output and 5%-7% of total revenues.


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