UMC could be to headed to Detroit

UMC could be to headed to Detroit

Business news |
By Peter Clarke

Foundry chipmaker United Microelecronics Corp. is considering building a 300mm wafer fab in Detroit, Michigan, according to reports in Taiwan, although they also report the company is declining to comment on speculation.

UMC is the Taiwan’s second-largest foundry behind TSMC, which is building a megafab complex in Phoenix, Arizona. In 2021 TSMC announced it would spend US $12 billion on the fab complex. This would be its largest commitment outside of Taiwan (see Reports: TSMC planning for six wafer fabs in Arizona).

UMC’s manufacturing is a bit behind the leading-edge being pioneered by TSMC but its manufacturing is relevant to automotive electronics. A UMC plant in Michigan would likely run 22nm and 28nm manufacturing processes. Detroit is the location for numerous US automobile makers. These include General Motors, Ford and the Chrysler unit of Stellantis NV.

Headed to US

South Korea’s Samsung Electronics is planning to spend $17 billion to build a wafer fab in Texas, with operations beginning in the 2H24. The developments are being encouraged by the US government as part of plans to reshore manufacturing and improve strategic resilience of supply chains.

UMC could spend about US$3.5 billion to set up a 300mm wafer fab with a manufacturing capacity of 15,000 to 20,000 wafer starts per month. UMC has wafer fabs in Singapore, Japan and China in addition to Taiwan.

Last month UMC announced that it is planning to spend US$5 billion on a wafer fab for 22nm silicon next to its existing 300mm wafer fab (Fab 12i) in Singapore. The first phase of that fab will have a manufacturing capacity of 30,000 wafer starts per month with production expected to commence late in 2024.

Related links and articles:

News articles:

UMC plans additional Singapore wafer fab

Intel announces over 33 billion Euro semiconductor investment in Europe

Reports: TSMC planning for six wafer fabs in Arizona

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