Foxconn enters the chip business

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

In the midst of the chip shortage, Foxconn is to buy a 150mm (6in) wafer fab in Hsincu, Taiwan, from memory maker Macronix for NT$2.52bn (US$900m).

“The acquisition of the 6-inch wafer fab in Hsinchu Science Park officially signals Foxconn’s entry into the manufacture and development of wide band gap semiconductors, especially SiC, paving the way for a long-term commitment to semiconductor development,” said Young Liu, Chairman and CEO of Foxconn. 

Foxconn will also make slicon wafer products, such as MEMS, for electric vehicles and digital health. This will be key for the company’s ambitions to make electric vehicles for customers in the same way it makes PCs and Apple iPhones and ensuring supply in times of shortage.

The deal, which will close by the end of the year and see production in 2022, follows Texas Instruments buying Micron’s memory fab in Utah, also for $900m, to boost its power and analogue device capacity. 

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“The manufacturing of SiC is in line with Foxconn’s 3+3 strategy (EV, digital health, Robotics + AI, semiconductor, advanced communication). SiC MOSFET is an important device for EV, while EV occupies the No.1 position in Foxconn’s 3+3 strategy,” said Liu at Foxconn. “The 6-inch wafer fab will function as S Business Group’s headquarters in Hsinchu, the world famous semiconductor cluster, enabling closer partnership with the semiconductor companies based in the Hsinchu Science Park.” This includes TSMC which is a major supplier to Foxconn.

The deal will see Macronix focus on its 300mm (12in) wafer capacity for memory devices.

“To enhance advanced technology and global competitiveness, Macronix will focus on 12-inch wafer business, especially R&D and manufacturing of the advanced 3D NAND Flash and NOR Flash products after capacity expansion,” said Miin Wu, Chairman and CEO of Macronix.

“Macronix is pleased to see the subject 6-inch wafer fab continue to make its contribution to Taiwan as Foxconn commits to have the fab be used as an important base for Foxconn to reinforce its semiconductor development plan and to meet the demand of electric vehicles. Considering that Macronix is advancing to take the lead in the global automotive electronics market, a closer collaboration between Macronix and Foxconn in the near future may be anticipated”, said Wu.;

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