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Silicon Motion in talks with SMIC for controller IC production

Posted: 05 Jan 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Controller ICs? USB? flash drive?

Taiwan-based Silicon Motion Technology Corp. is reportedly considering outsourcing the production of USB flash drive controller ICs to Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. (SMIC), according to industry sources.

Silicon Motion was said to be looking into mainland China IC makers to produce its USB flash drive controller ICs utilizing the 0.18m technology, due to declining prices of USB controller chips. Quotes for USB controller ICs have significantly declined in the semiconductor market, from $1.6 by end-2004 to 6 cents in the third quarter of 2005 and 35 cents by end-2006.

Other design houses are also said to be on the hunt for foundries on the mainland for outsourcing. For instance, Phison Electronics Corp. is currently working with SMIC regarding manufacture of USB controller ICs, and is also cooperating with United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC) for manufacture of other IC products.

However, market observers say that long-term relationships between Taiwan IC design houses and mainland China foundries are still uncertain, and will most likely depend on the pricing trends.

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