Ruminations on the electronics industry from David Manners, Senior Components Editor on Electronics Weekly.
UMC Puts $100m Into Specialty Process R&D
UMC, the No.3 foundry, is to spend $110m at its Singapore fab on R&D projects including CMOS image sensor backside illumination, embedded memory, high voltage applications and TSV (through silicon via) connections.
In 2013, UMC plans to increase headcount of the fab – Fab 12i – by over 80 engineers to focus on specialty process development.
“Having a dedicated 300mm base for advanced specialty R&D and manufacturing will help ensure the timely delivery of these technologies, and enable UMC to tap into new market opportunities,” says W.Y Chen UMC’s CEO.
Fab 12i is UMC’s only 300mm fab outside of Taiwan. The current capacity is nearly 45,000 wpm, accounting for 45% of UMC’s total 12” output.
Recent achievements in specialty technologies at Fab 12i include the successful development of backside illuminated CMOS image sensors and 55nm high performance eFlash cells for different UMC customers.
Total cumulative investment for Fab 12i is nearly US$3.6 billion to date. The fab currently employs nearly 1,600 people.