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Intel & UMC announce collaboration on 12nm process platform
Mon, 29th Jan 2024

Intel and United Microelectronics Corporation (UMC), a top global semiconductor foundry, have divulged plans to collaborate on the development of a 12-nanometer semiconductor process platform. The project aims to cater to high-growth markets, including mobile, communication infrastructure, and networking. The move is set to proffer customers a more diversified and resilient semiconductor supply chain and give them greater choice in their sourcing decisions.

This project serves to amplify Intel's commitment to aligning with innovative companies in Taiwan towards better global customer service and expanding mature process capabilities for foundry customers. The initiative is also geared towards broadening customer access to a geographically diverse semiconductor supply chain. With this move, UMC will benefit from additional capacity and its technology research and development will be accelerated.

Stuart Pann, Intel's senior vice president and general manager of Intel Foundry Services (IFS), emphasised Intel's dedication to collaboration with innovative Taiwan companies like UMC. According to him, the partnership with UMC "further demonstrates our commitment to delivering technology and manufacturing innovation across the global semiconductor supply chain and is another important step toward our goal of becoming the world’s second-largest foundry by 2030."

Jason Wang, UMC's co-president, related the collaboration with Intel to the advancement of their strategy for cost-effective capacity expansion and technology node advancement. "This effort will enable our customers to smoothly migrate to this critical new node and also benefit from the resiliency of an added Western footprint," Wang stated while expressing excitement about broadening UMC's addressable market and significantly accelerating its development roadmap via the collaboration.

The 12 nm node, designed utilising Intel's U.S.-based high-volume manufacturing capacity and thorough knowledge of FinFET transistor design, provides a powerful combination of performance maturity and power efficiency. UMC's extensive experience in process leadership will be invaluable to the new process node's design which will be developed and manufactured at Intel's Ocotillo Technology Fabrication site in Arizona; production is expected to commence in 2027.

Over the years, Intel has made significant investments and innovations globally, including locations in the U.S., Ireland, Germany, Poland, Israel, and Malaysia. Similarly, UMC's reputation as the preferred supplier of foundry services to critical applications has been cemented over its more than 40-year history. It has successfully expanded its base across Asia and continues to lead innovation across mature nodes and speciality foundry services.