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UMC Halts R&D Project with China Chipmaker

TAIPEI, Nov. 01, 2018 – 

Taiwan's United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC) has shelved an R&D project with Chinese chipmaker Fujian Jinhua after the U.S. government ordered a ban on supplies of equipment to the company.

The U.S. government on Monday cut off U.S. firms from supplying Fujian Jinhua following allegations that the Chinese fab stole intellectual property from U.S. semiconductor company Micron Technology. The move comes as the U.S. escalates a trade war with China that is increasingly focused on high-tech products.

UMC and Jinhua started a project in May 2016 to develop technology for DRAM chips. Jinhua agreed to supply equipment and an unspecified amount of money to UMC for development of the technology at a UMC fab in Tainan, Taiwan. As part of the agreement, the partners would jointly own the technology. UMC planned to use the technology for its foundry customers and did not plan to enter DRAM production or invest in Jinhua.

"We are just following the regulations set forth by the Taiwan government and the U.S. government," UMC spokesman Richard Yu told EE Times regarding the suspended R&D project. Taiwan's Bureau of Foreign Trade issued a bulletin to domestic companies regarding business with Fujian Jinhua following the U.S. government ban.

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