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TSMC increases investments in local design house, sensor foundry

Posted: 11 Aug 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing? VisEra Technologies? Global Unichip? XX? XX?

Playing the role of venture capitalist, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd (TSMC) has separately increased its investments in two Taiwanese companiesGlobal Unichip Corp. and VisEra Technologies Co. Ltd.

To facilitate Global Unichip's initial public offering (IPO) on the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TSE), TSMC's board said that it has approved the appropriation of 989,000 shares within the ASIC design house that are already owned by TSMC.

Earlier this year, Global Unichip, a "chip-design foundry" that is 46.2 percent owned by TSMC, said that it hoped to raise a minimum of $50 million in an IPO in Taiwan this year. The company's board also approved an increase of the investment not exceeding $27 million in VisEra Technologies, a provider of CMOS image sensor foundry services.

In October 2003, TSMC and CMOS image sensor maker OmniVision Inc. entered into an agreement to form a joint venture called VisEra Technologies in Taiwan. VisEra's mission is to provide manufacturing services and automated final testing in the CMOS image sensor arena.

TSMC and OmniVision also entered into separate non-exclusive license agreements with VisEra pursuant to which each party licenses certain intellectual property to VisEra. In August 2005, TSMC and OmniVision amended the deal. Under the plan, the parties agreed to raise the total capital committed to the joint venture from $50 million to $68 million.

In total, TSMC and OmniVision increased their stake in VisEra from 25 percent to 43 percent. In the quarter ended January 2006, the two companies increased its interest in VisEra from 43 percent to 46 percent through purchases of unissued shares.

In January 2006, VisEra purchased from TSMC the equipment used for applying color filers and micro-lenses to wafers. VisEra is now providing the related processing services that OmniVision previously purchased from TSMC.

Also during the board meeting TSMC approved a capital spending plan of $190.1 million for the expansion of its 8-inch fab capacity.

- Mark LaPedus
EE Times




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