Intel and UMC announce new foundry collaboration

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Intel and United Microelectronics (UMC), a leading semiconductor foundry, are to collaborate on the development of a 12-nanometer semiconductor process platform.

The two companies will work together to address high-growth markets such as mobile, communication infrastructure and networking and this long-term agreement brings together Intel’s at-scale US manufacturing capacity and UMC’s extensive foundry experience on mature nodes to enable an expanded process portfolio.

It also offers global customers greater choice in their sourcing decisions with access to a more geographically diversified and resilient supply chain.

“Taiwan has been a critical part of the Asian and global semiconductor and broader technology ecosystem for decades, and Intel is committed to collaborating with innovative companies in Taiwan, such as UMC, to help better serve global customers,” said Stuart Pann, Intel senior vice president and general manager of Intel Foundry Services (IFS). “Intel’s strategic collaboration 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.”

Commenting on the announcement Jason Wang, UMC co-president, said, “Our collaboration with Intel on a US-manufactured 12 nm process with FinFET capabilities is a step forward in advancing our strategy of pursuing cost-efficient capacity expansion and technology node advancement in continuing our commitment to customers. 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.”

The 12 nm node will utilise Intel’s US based high-volume manufacturing capacity and experience in FinFET transistor design. The production will also benefit from UMC’s experience of providing customers with Process Design Kit (PDK) and design assistance for effectively providing foundry services.

The new process node will be developed and manufactured in Fabs 12, 22 and 32 at Intel’s Ocotillo Technology Fabrication site in Arizona. Leveraging existing equipment in these fabs will significantly reduce upfront investment requirements and optimise utilisation.

Production of the 12 nm process is expected to begin in 2027.