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Intel and UMC team up on 12nm

Paul van Gerven
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Intel is partnering with Taiwanese foundry UMC to jointly manufacture 12nm FinFET chips in Intel’s Arizona fabs. Offering a “strong combination of maturity, performance and power efficiency,” the 12nm platform targets “high-growth markets” such as mobile, communication infrastructure and networking.

For Intel, the deal offers the opportunity to repurpose fabs and tools that are already depreciated. Working with a pure-play foundry could also help the IDM transition to a contract manufacturing business model. “Intel’s strategic collaboration with UMC is another important step toward our goal of becoming the world’s second-largest foundry by 2030,” says Stuart Pann, senior vice president and general manager of Intel Foundry Services (IFS).

Credit: Intel

For UMC, the collaboration accelerates its roadmap and the move to FinFET technology without having to invest heavily. Sporting a global market share of about 6 percent, the foundry is much slower to introduce new process technology than its ‘big brother’ TSMC. “Our collaboration with Intel on a US-manufactured 12nm process with FinFET capabilities is a step forward in advancing our strategy of pursuing cost-efficient capacity expansion,” UMC co-president Jason Wang comments.

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