UMC buys out Fujitsu in Mie Fujitsu Semiconductor (MIFS) joint venture

Posted on Sunday, Jul 01 2018 @ 17:48 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
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Fujitsu started making chips in 1956 but has now entirely left the in-house manufacturing business as the company sold its stake in Mie Fujitsu Semiconductor (MIFS) to UMC. The latter currently holds 15.9 percent of this joint-venture. UMC will pay Fujitsu Semiconductor around ¥57.6 billion ($520.52 million) for the remaining 84.1 percent. The deal still needs regulatory approval and expected to close on January 1, 2019.

AnandTech report MIFS has two 300mm fabs, with an output of 28,000 to 40,000 300mm wafers per month. This is a big upgrade versus the 140,000 300mm wafers per month capacity that UMC currently has. However, the MIFS fabs date back to 2004 and 2006 and have never seen serious investment. They're still on a mature 40nm node.
MIFS runs two 300-mm fabs — the Fab-B1 and the Fab-B2 constructed in 2004 and 2006, respectively. Both fabs were built by Fujitsu to produce chips using 90 nm and 65 nm process technologies and have never been seriously upgraded. In 2009 the company decided to go “fab lite” and spun off the fabs into Fujitsu Semiconductor Limited, which started to outsource production of 28-nm and 40-nm chips to TSMC, which was reportedly interested in taking over the plants. In 2014 Fujitsu Semiconductor agreed to form a joint venture with UMC and sell a stake in MIFS to the Taiwanese contract maker of chips. In return, UMC licensed its 40 nm process technology to MIFS and even helped to install an appropriate production line in one of the fabs.

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Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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