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Foundries encouraging fabless chipmakers to switch to 12-inch wafers


May. 23, 2018 – 

Pure-play foundries in China and Taiwan intend to encourage their fabless firms to transition to 12-inch wafer manufacturing as their 8-inch fab capacity has been extremely tight, according to industry sources.

Foundries including Hua Hong Semiconductor, Semiconductor Manufacturing International (SMIC), Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), United Microelectronics (UMC) and Vanguard International Semiconductor (VIS) have moved to promote their 12-inch fabrication services by offering price discounts to attract orders, the sources indicated. The foundries' 12-inch fab utilization rates have been relatively low compared to 8-inch ones.

These foundries are also considering adjusting upward their 8-inch foundry quotes for the third quarter, said the sources, adding that the move will help narrow the cost gap between 12-inch and 8-inch wafers, which may encourage more fabless firms to accelerate their transition to 12-inch wafer manufacturing.

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