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UMC's new fab in Singapore sees first equipment tools move in

05/21/2024 09:45 PM
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CNA file photo
CNA file photo

Taipei, May 21 (CNA) Taiwan-based contract chipmaker United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC) on Tuesday held a ceremony to celebrate the arrival of the first equipment tools for phase 3 expansion at its Fab12i located in Singapore.

UMC, the second largest pure play wafer foundry operator in Taiwan, called the equipment move-in a new milestone for its production in Singapore with guests including representatives from Singapore's Economic Development Board (EDB), Jurong Town Council (JTC), the Institute of Microelectronics (IME) as well as its construction partners, major equipment and material vendors.

In February 2022, UMC announced plans to invest US$5 billion in the phase 3 expansion of its Fab12i, or Fab12i P3, in Singapore and also designated the new facility one of the most advanced semiconductor fabs in the country, set to roll out chips made on its 22 nanometer and 28nm processes.

UMC said on Tuesday that construction of the new 12-inch wafer facility is scheduled to be completed in mid-2024.

UMC added that mass production in the phase 3 facility at the Fab12i had previously been set for mid-2025 but has now been pushed back to early 2026 due to adjustments in orders by clients.

The expansion of the Fab12i aims to meet demand for 5G, automotive and Internet of things applications, UMC said.

According to UMC, the chip supplier has run pure play semiconductor foundries in Singapore for more than 20 years, using the Fab12i as a research and development center for advanced specialty technology development.

In the first quarter, UMC posted NT$10.46 billion (US$324 million) in net profit, down about 20 percent from a quarter, due to slow season effects, with earnings per share at NT$0.84, compared with NT$1.06 a quarter earlier.

However, the company predicts growth momentum will pick up in the second quarter with inventories in PCs, consumer electronic devices and communication gadgets falling to healthy levels.

The chipmaker forecasts that second quarter shipments will rise 1-3 percent from the first quarter.

According to Taipei-based market information advisory firm TrendForce Corp., UMC ranked as the fourth largest contract chipmaker in the world in the fourth quarter of last year with a market share of 5.4 percent, far behind the largest contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), which had a 61.2 percent share.

(By Chang Chien-chung and Frances Huang)


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