Taiwanese pure-play foundry United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC) will build a new 300 mm fab in Singapore capable of producing 30,000 wafers per month by 2024.
UMC, the No. 2 fab in Taiwan next to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), said the new manufacturing facility, dubbed Fab 12i, will be one of the most advanced semiconductor foundries in Singapore, providing 22/28 nanometer process nodes.
The move comes as the world is expanding manufacturing facilities in response to the ongoing semiconductor shortage that has impacted the supply chain since late 2020. This includes the move to beef up domestic manufacturing in regions that have as of late not been a significant provider of chip manufacturing.
This incudes the proposed European Chips Act that was announced last month to provide more than $50 billion in funding for new investments in Europe for semiconductor manufacturing and the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) for America Act, which would see investments north of $50 billion to increase domestic chip making in the U.S.
While these regional investments will bolster fab presence in these countries, Taiwanese companies are also shoring up investments with TSMC pledging as much as $100 billion to build new fabs and expand others in the next three years.
UMC said it plans to invest $5 billion in the Singapore fab.
The company has operated as a foundry in the country for 20 years and has a designated R&D center for advanced specialty technologies.
The fab is backed by customers who have signed multi-year supply agreements to secure capacity from 2024 and beyond for technologies such as 5G, internet of things and new automotive technologies such as automated driving and electrification.
Additionally, UMC said specialty technologies will be part of the Singapore fab, including embedded high voltage, embedded non-volatile memory, RF-SOI and mixed signal CMOS devices.
“The semiconductor undersupply has crystallized the need for greater visibility and mutual risk mitigation within the industry,” Stan Hung, chairman of UMC. “This investment is the result of the shared vision and close collaborations with our key customers. We are committed to doing our part to restore balance in the industry value chain and to the long-term success of our customers.”