Ruminations on the electronics industry from David Manners, Senior Components Editor on Electronics Weekly.

Fable: The Foundry Which Foundered

In 1998 a Taiwanese foundry got started backed by over a billion US dollars in equity and loans supported by 32 local banks.

The company set out to build two billion dollar wafer fabs.


In 1998, the President, an ex-TI-er, said: “We have already sold all the capacity until June 1999 – in fact I think we’ve over-committed a little bit.”


The company failed and was bought by TSMC.


Later on, the same company president set up a foundry company on mainland China operating fabs in Shanghai and Beijing.


This company also struggled, with TSMC later taking a stake in it.


Moral: Build a fab at a time.

Tags: company president, foundry company, loans, shanghai, stake

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  1. David Manners
    March 14, 2013 18:35

    Looks as if it did!

  2. The one and only
    March 14, 2013 17:15

    testing if this naming thing works

  3. David Manners
    March 14, 2013 16:15

    I love the names Elmer/Wylie/Jessica, you have a talent for this sort of thing. Hopefully the WordPress move will stop this nonsense. The transition has to happen by the end of April.

  4. Jessica Bunny
    March 14, 2013 16:08

    Not my ideal choice David, but if the computer says no, well, it’s solutions that count. Sigh.. Roll on the new system,

  5. David Manners
    March 14, 2013 15:51

    Aha, so that’s how it’s done Fred, you seem to be the first to figure that one out. I wondered who these strange sounding guys were. As to the foundry it was Worldwide Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (WSMC) set up by Richard Chang in 1997 as a competitor to TSMC. Chang had built six fabs for TI before embarking on the Taiwan venture which failed pretty early, and was bought out by TSMC. Chang then went off to Shanghai to found SMIC. I rather doubt, from the evidence of the history, that he’s related to Morris Chang.

  6. Elmer J. Fudd
    March 14, 2013 15:35

    Bit of a guess – was the Taiwan foundry Vanguard ? The China foundry, maybe Grace or SMIC ?
    Roll on the new WordPress system – fed up of having to use pseudonyms to get a posting accepted…
    Fred Dart

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