Qualcomm may buy 10% of UMC
Qualcomm is thinking of buying 10% of the No.2 foundry UMC in order to try and secure advanced IC fabrication, according to industry rumours.
Qualcomm has been the most proactive in seeking alternative sources among those customers of TSMC who have been affected by 28nm shortages.
Qualcomm has signed deals for fab with Samsung, Globalfoundries and UMC.
Now UMC has offered 10% of itself to anyone wanting to become a ‘strategic partner’. UMC has fallen behind TSMC, the No.1 foundry, in process technology, and wants to raise the money to catch up. UMC’s capex budget this year is $2bn.
At UMC’s current market cap of $5.4bn, 10% is worth $540m.
Recently TSMC, the No.1 foundry, said it was considering setting up dedicated fabs to single customers.
The shortages of 28nm parts has rattled IC companies which are looking to take more control over their manufacturing.
Before the 1980s, it was normal for every IC company to have its own fab.