Global Sources
EE Times-Asia
Stay in touch with EE Times Asia
EE Times-Asia > T&M

UTAC drawing strength from overseas partnerships

Posted: 14 Oct 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:test? packaging? analog? mixed-signal? utac?

United Test and Assembly Center Ltd. (UTAC) is on track to nearly double its earnings this year thanks in part to a series of partnerships and customer wins in China and South Korea, UTAC CEO J.C. Lee said Wednesday (Oct. 12).

Lee said UTAC was "on track" to post revenues of over $300 million in 2005, up from $169.6 million in 2004, after registering eight consecutive quarters of growth.

Attributing the strong performance to steady demand for its memory, mixed-signal and logic testing services, Lee said he also expected UTAC to ramp up DDR2 DRAM assembly significantly in the coming months, with DDR2 tipped to make up 60 percent of total DRAM assembly by March 2006.

The first half of 2006 will also see the firm double its flash memory output, Lee said, driven by new customers and an anticipated return to strength in the digital entertainment and consumer goods sectors later this year.

He said UTAC has benefited significantly from its growing network of regional alliances, with four of the nine Chinese fabless firms that the company sealed test and assembly services agreements with in April now in small-volume production. Lee said UTAC would begin running qualifications this month for its joint IC- packaging venture with China's Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. in Chengdu, with small-volume production set to commence in December.

UTAC has also made some recent forays into South Korea, announcing Oct. 4 that it would invest in a 12-inch wafer bumping facility in Singapore with South Korean bumping and assembly services provider Nepes Corp.

"It has been our strategy not to do bumping internally as it's a unique process with a unique skill set," Lee said. "We'd rather find a partner that's familiar with this."

Lee noted the $30 million facility, expected to go online in the second quarter of 2006, would eliminate the need for the city-state's 300mm foundries to ship wafers to Taiwan for bumping, flip-chip testing and assembly.

"Customers will want flip chips in the future, and these will have to be bumped, they'll have to have a local house to support them," he said. "But we're just going to park our equity in there and leave the experts to run the business."

UTAC announced Monday (Oct. 10) that it had begun volume production for South Korea's Telechips Inc., a fabless IC chip designer that focuses on the MP3 player market.

Lee noted Telechip is one of UTAC's first Korean customers, adding that the win would help "open up the Korean market" for UTAC.

"We're moving into Korea and I expect that contribution to make a certain impact next year," he said.

Lee said the company's main goals were to reach "number one or number two supplier status" for all its customers, as well as form more strategic partnerships and evaluate potential acquisitions.

"We're not in a hurry to buy a company per se, but are just watchin]out for opportunities to grow [UTAC] organically," he said.

- Jonathan Hopfner

EE Times

Article Comments - UTAC drawing strength from overseas ...
*? You can enter [0] more charecters.
*Verify code:


Visit Asia Webinars to learn about the latest in technology and get practical design tips.

Back to Top