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MOEA: 12-inch fabs drive Taiwan's chip industry

Posted: 26 Jun 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:12-inch fabs? DRAM industry? fab-lite strategy?

Taiwan's Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) reported that the development of 12-inch plants has put local companies in the lead in the semiconductor market.

According to the ministry, Taiwan companies, with their strategies on cost, have succeeded in the OEM model. At present, there are 13 plants doing mass production, seven are under construction and 19 more are on the design stage. These numbers establish Taiwan as having the highest density of wafer plants as well as the world's foundry stronghold, having one-third of the global wafer production capacity.

Furthermore, there are currently more than 70 companies owning 8-inch plants, but only 30 have 12-inch plants. Building costs and subsequent expenses in the process of developing 12-inch plants will likely deter half of the 30 companies from building new plants and slow down the developing process of 65nm and below, the MOEA said.

The ministry also noted that Texas Instruments and NXP Semiconductors are both withdrawing from the 45nm and 65nm development, and are adopting the fab-lite strategy. Such trend is seen to favor Taiwan where the number of 12-inch plants and the production capacity are the largest in the world. In addition, costs and the pressure to come up with next-generation technology in the DRAM industry have prompted major international DRAM companies seek closer collaborations with their Taiwan counterparts.

With Taiwan's continuous expansion of 12-inch plant, coupled with the country's competitive edges in costs and technology, the MOEA believed that the country will secure constant profitability and the leading position in the 12-inch production in the world.

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