After more than 12 months of static capacity and technology migrations, UMC is now planning to migrate is Singapore-based 300mm facility, Fab 12i to sub-45nm node capability and increase capacity. For more than four quarters, Fab 12i capacity had remained at approximately 29,926wspm and the most leading-edge capability had been at the 65nm node.
"This capacity expansion and advanced technology migration project for Fab 12i has demonstrated our commitment to provide customer-driven foundry solutions to support the needs of our customers,” commented Po Wen Yen, senior vice president in charge of 300mm operations at UMC. “It will also create more local job opportunities for Singapore while attracting more talented engineers to UMC from all over the world. Furthermore, it will contribute greatly to Singapore semiconductor industry's development and create benefits for customers, the local community and UMC."
However, UMC did not give any specific details on the capacity expansion levels, only citing that capacity was now 31,000wspm. Also the foundry did not give any guidance on migration time-lines.
In April, 2009 UMC said that capital expenditure for 2009 has been capped at no more than US$400 million, up from US$350 million in 2008 and that spending was focused on 40nm equipment, which would give the foundry between 5,000 wafer starts and 10,000 wafer starts of 40nm capacity in 2009.
The foundry said then that it had 10 customers at various stages of pilot production at the 40nm node but did not expect meaningful revenue for this node until 2010.