31 Jul '12, 1pm

Blog: IC Industry On The Cusp Of Radical Change: The semiconductor industry appears to be edging back to its roo...

The semiconductor industry appears to be edging back to its roots - making its own manufacturing equipment and fabbing its own chips. Qualcomm is thinking of buying 10% of the No.2 foundry UMC in order to try and secure advanced IC fabrication. UMC asked for strategic partners to help defray the cost of investing in more advanced process technology. UMC has fallen behind TSMC, the No.1 foundry, in process technology, and wants to raise the money to catch up. At UMC's current market cap of $5.4 billion, 10% would cost $540m. Earlier this month Intel bought 10% of lithographic tools manufacturer ASML. ASML asked for strategic partners to help defray the cost of developing 450mm wafers and EUV. Before the 1980s, it was normal for every IC company to have its own fab. Now, maybe, we're seeing a move back to owning, if not a whole fab, at least a part of a fab. And in the early...

Full article: http://www.electronicsweekly.com/blogs/david-manners-semi...

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