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UMC riled by TSMC comments on Hejian, says report

Posted: 09 Aug 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:foundry chip? 8-inch wafer fab?

Foundry chip maker United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC) has been critical of its rival Taiwan Semiconductor Mfg Co. Ltd (TSMC) alleging that Rick Tsai, TSMC's chief executive officer, made libelous remarks, according to a China Post report on Friday (Aug. 5).

Tsai reportedly told TSMC employees at a company seminar that UMC's dealings with a mainland chip maker called Hejian Technology were "not right," adding that TSMC believed in the principle of honesty. The remarks had appeared in local media, prompting a response from UMC, according to the China Post report.

The report quoted a UMC statement as saying: "His remarks have constituted libel."

Hejian was founded by a number of ex-UMC executives in 2001, and UMC Chairman Robert Tsao has admitted UMC provided some assistance to Hejian. UMC's relations with Hejian have been the subject of an investigation in Taiwan that began in February 2005. More than 120 investigators raided UMC offices looking for evidence of investment activity in Hejian, which runs 8-inch wafer fabs in Suzhou, China, a city west of Shanghai (see June 22 story).

UMC also reportedly criticized TSMC's operations in mainland China, which began after TSMC gained the approval of Taiwan authorities.

"Equipment purchased by TSMC for the Songjiang plant is for 0.188?m and 0.138?m production, although the Taiwan government has only allowed for investment in 0.258?m production. Word on the street suggests that TSMC is already making products using the 0.18?m technology for clients," UMC is reported to have said in its statement. The China Post article was available here when this story was first posted.

- Peter Clarke

EE Times

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