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Taiwan memory maker files to build wafer fab in China

Posted: 30 Dec 2004 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:8-inch wafer? memory?

Taiwan's largest memory maker, Powerchip Semiconductor Corp., said it is ready to seek approval from the Taiwanese government to build an 8-inch wafer fab in China.

The company gave no timeline, but said it would invest up to 20 percent of its net asset value, or a maximum of $420 million, according to documents submitted to the Taiwan Stock Exchange on Friday (Dec. 24).

The Taiwan government restricts investment in wafer manufacturing facilities in China, its political rival, fearful that a mass migration of investment dollars would weaken Taiwan's position as a major global silicon wafer producer.

Only firms with 12-inch wafer plants, which are fully ramped, are allowed to apply for approval of such investments. So far, only the leading foundry chipmaker, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., has navigated the lengthy process, and has invested about half of its approved budget of $392 million.

Other semiconductor manufacturers here have allegedly routed investment through third parties and third locations, such as the Cayman Islands, to obscure the nature of their investment in China.

- Mike Clendenin

EE Times

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