Taiwan’s No. 2 Chip Maker Teams Up With Car Parts Giant To Make Semiconductors In Japan

Linda D. Klein

UMC, Taiwan’s No. 2 contract chip maker right after TSMC, is pairing up with Toyota-backed car-components supplier Denso to make semiconductors in Japan and satisfy developing world-wide demand in the automotive sector.

United Semiconductor Japan Co. (USJC), UMC’s Japanese subsidiary, declared late very last thirty day period that it is building a creation plant for ability chips that regulate the flow and way of electrical present-day with Denso, which is component-owned by the world’s largest car or truck maker by product sales.

“Semiconductors are starting to be increasingly significant in the automotive market as mobility systems evolve, together with automated driving and electrification,” Denso president Koji Arima claimed in the announcement. “Through this collaboration, we add to the secure provide of ability semiconductors and electrification of vehicles.”

“It must be positive news,” says Brady Wang, Taipei-dependent affiliate director with industry research firm Counterpoint Analysis. UMC is presently positioned to do “third-generation” semiconductors, which includes electrical power-preserving sorts with the ideal thickness for automotive use. Wang expects superior-quantity production for the Japanese car industry. “Both of their rewards can be set into perform,” he claims.

An insulated-gate bipolar transistor—also acknowledged as IGBT, which is applied for electric powered car or truck motor controllers—line will be put in at USJC’s wafer fab. It will be the initially in Japan to generate IGBTs on 300mm wafers, in accordance to the announcement. Denso will lead its method-oriented IGBT product and system know-how, while USJC will give its 300mm wafer production capabilities.

Other chip makers, together with TSMC, can manufacture with IGBT technological know-how, but Japanese firms dominate substantially of the sector, notes Joanne Chiao, an analyst with Taiwan-dependent investigate organization TrendForce.

The UMC-Denso plant, in Mie Prefecture in central Japan, is scheduled to start in the to start with 50 percent of up coming 12 months. A spokesperson for UMC claimed the plant will be equipped to create 10,000 wafers a month by 2025.

“With our robust portfolio of state-of-the-art specialty systems and [International Automotive Task Force] IATF 16949 licensed fabs in diversified locations, UMC is well positioned to serve demand throughout automobile applications, together with innovative driver guidance programs, infotainment, connectivity, and powertrain,” Jason Wang, UMC co-president, said in the announcement. “We glimpse forward to capitalizing on a lot more cooperation possibilities going forward with top gamers in the automotive space.”

Due to the fact automotive manufacturing restarted around the planet in late 2020, soon after the 1st wave of the pandemic, factory demand from customers for automotive chips has grown and continues to be robust mainly because of “pent-up consumer demand” for EVs and hybrids, Moody’s Investors Service said in an emailed commentary.

The automotive semiconductor market place is estimated to expand from $35 billion in 2020 to $68 billion in 2026, Taipei-based mostly Current market Intelligence & Consulting Institute states.

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