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Powerchip to build display, sensor IC fab in China

Posted: 07 Jul 2015 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Powerchip Technology? display? sensor IC? wafer fab? DRAM?

Powerchip Technology Corp., previously a DRAM vendor, now foundry, is joining a trend towards supporting manufacturing in China. According to local reports, the company plans to invest alongside the Chinese authorities in Hefei City, Anhui province, in a joint venture to set up a 300mm wafer fab there.

The fab will operate as a foundry running 0.15?m, 0.11?m and 90nm manufacturing processes, for logic ICs, LCD driver chips, CIS image sensor chips, according to a CTimes report.

The support will come in the form of an investment with Hefei Construction Investment and Holding Co. Ltd to create the Hefei Jinghe wafer fab, the reports said. The total investment required is estimated at about $2.2 billion with the fab scheduled for completion in 2018-2019 and a manufacturing capacity of 40,000 wafer starts per month.

Hefei is a manufacturing centre of BOE, a major Chinese LCD panel maker, and the building of a wafer fab there is being done to give the company a local source of supply.

Powerchip was one of a group of Taiwan DRAM makers that failed to remain competitive in DRAMs against leading manufacturers Samsung, SK Hynix and Micron. In 2011 the company announced it would stop selling DRAMs under its own brand to focus on the production of LCD drivers, CMOS image sensors, flash memory and power management ICs.

Investments by Taiwan companies, often investments in kind in terms of IP and know how, are increasing as the Chinese government has rolled out a long-term initiative to foster domestic production of components.

In October 2014 United Microelectronics Corp. (Hsinchu, Taiwan) announced a plan to invest in joint venture along with Xiamen Municipal People's Government and FuJian Electronics & Information Group focused on 300mm wafer foundry services. That joint venture, subsequently named as ChipLink Semiconductor Co. Ltd, is set to be based in Xiamen, and in October 2014 UMC said it was anticipating it would invest about $1.35 billion over the next five years.

- Peter Clarke
??EE Times Europe

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