Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), the island’s largest chip maker and the world’s top made-to-order foundry manufacturer, is to purchase a 30% stake in Acer Semiconductor Manufacturing Ltd (ASMI), a subsidiary of Acer Group. Until last year Acer Semicon was a joint venture between Acer and Texas Instruments Inc, Acer TI, and was a loss-making […]
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), the island’s largest chip maker and the world’s top made-to-order foundry manufacturer, is to purchase a 30% stake in Acer Semiconductor Manufacturing Ltd (ASMI), a subsidiary of Acer Group.
Until last year Acer Semicon was a joint venture between Acer and Texas Instruments Inc, Acer TI, and was a loss-making DRAM manufacturer. After buying out the US company, Acer Group chairman and founder Stan Shih took personal control of Acer Semicon and announced plans to transform it from a computer memory chip maker into a foundry chip operation and bring it back into the black again.
Under the terms of the agreement, TSMC will pay NT$5.47bn ($171m) for the shares which will give it an equal holding to Acer with the remaining 40% in the hands of several local companies. However, TSMC will have four directors on the board of the renamed TSMC Acer Semiconductor to Acer’s three and will appoint both the chairman and president.
The agreement also stipulates that TSMC will have management control of the operation, turning it into a dedicated foundry company with TSMC’s expertise in technology, marketing, and management as soon as possible. The company will seek to raise up to NT$10bn ($312m) from financial markets to purchase new equipment and adjust parts of its operation lines to logic-based processes. It envisages monthly capacity for 0.25 and 0.22-micron 8-inch wafers will be increased to 38,000 by the end of next year.
Speaking at a press conference in Taipei yesterday (Tuesday June 8) TSMC chairman Dr Morris Chang said: Not only will TSMC purchase 30% of ASMI shares, but we will also provide full support to transform ASMI into another leading dedicated foundry company. This agreement will help both companies establish a mutually complementary capacity support system.
He pointed out that Acer itself depends substantially on IC- related components for its products, and noted that Acer Laboratories Inc, an ASIC design house, has enjoyed a close partnership with TSMC for many years. Through this strengthened alliance, TSMC its affiliated companies, including ASMI, will provide the Acer Group with both foundry services and certain related IC commodities, Chang said.
Shih told the conference: When we were deciding on a long-term strategic partner, TSMC was clearly the best choice. TSMC can use its latest technology and foundry management expertise to lead ASMI during its transformation into a foundry service operation. The Acer Group will, however, reserve a portion of ASMI’s manufacturing capacity for its own use.
He continued: 10 years ago, Acer’s joint venture with Texas Instruments, initiated the DRAM manufacturing industry in Taiwan and brought Taiwan’s semiconductor manufacturing ability up to world-class industry standard. In the past few years, TI-Acer’s plans to produce IC logic chips were delayed because TI disagreed with this direction. Our alliance with TSMC, however, will allow us to continue advancing
Taiwan’s technological expertise.
Both chairmen said the alliance was sure to increase Taiwan’s influence in the global IT industry with each leveraging the other’s strengths, giving mutual support and enhancing the competitiveness of both companies.