Japanese microchip maker Elpida Memory has has partnered with Taiwan-based semiconductor foundry United Microelectronics to jointly pursue semiconductor foundry opportunities in Japan.
According to the agreement, Elpida will contribute its 300mm wafer manufacturing capacity with UMC providing IP support and logic technologies. The joint effort will commence at Elpida’s 300mm fab in Hiroshima. The agreement follows the October 2007 signing of a joint development program for Copper/low-k, DRAM, and phase-change random access memory (PRAM) technologies.
Dr Jackson Hu, chairman and chief executive at UMC, said the successful joint collaboration signed in October has prompted the extension of the partnership. Utilizing UMC’s advanced Copper/Low-k backend of line (BEOL) process, Elpida has been able to demonstrate prototypes that achieve significant performance advantages for its next generation DRAM products, he added.
The IC foundry market is growing at a fast pace. According to a report by McClean, the pure-play IC foundry market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 21% from 2005 through 2010. Some of the top pure-play foundries include TSMC, UMC, Chartered, and SMIC.