Taiwan-based foundry, UMC has kept a tight reign on capital spending in 2011, advising in the third quarter that CapEx would be restricted to US$1.8 billion. As the year draws to an end, UMC has announced tool purchases from ASML and Tokyo Electron worth approximately US$127 million, ending the year with a spending flurry.
UMC placed orders worth US$84.7 million with lithography firm, ASML and US$41.2 million on equipment with TEL.
UMC has seen fab utilization rates fall to the mid to high 60% range in the fourth quarter but is prepping for customer migration to its 28nm node process offering in mid-2012. Customer engagements at the 40nm node are also increasing, suggesting equipment upgrades are underway.