Intel Corporation and United Microelectronics Corporation (UMC) based in Hsinchu, Taiwan, have jointly announced a collaborative initiative to develop a 12nm manufacturing process platform. This platform will be implemented at Intel’s fabrication facilities in Arizona, targeting the use of chips in diverse connectivity applications, including mobile phones, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, microcontrollers, sensors, etc. The chip production utilizing the 12nm process is anticipated in 2027.
In both sides’ official statement, although the collaboration did not explicitly address the potential extension of the partnership to encompass other manufacturing processes, it is described as “strategic” and “long-term”. The alliance capitalizes on Intel’s manufacturing capacity in the United States and UMC’s expertise in foundry operations, particularly on mature chip production technologies. The partnership also provides global customers with the advantage of a more geographically diversified and thus resilient supply chain.
Stuart Pann, Intel’s Senior Vice President and General Manager of Intel Foundry Services (IFS), expressed Intel’s commitment to collaboration with innovative companies in Taiwan, a critical part of the Asian and global semiconductor, highlighting the strategic importance of the partnership with UMC. Pann emphasized Intel’s dedication to delivering top-notch technology and manufacturing innovation across the global semiconductor supply chain, serving a broader customer base, including Qualcomm, MediaTek, Nvidia, Broadcom, NXP and Infineon,etc. This outlines a Intel’s vision to become the world’s second-largest foundry by 2030.
(According to Counterpoint’s research, currently, TSMC holds the leading position with nearly 60% of the market share, Samsung ranks second with a share of about 13%, followed by UMC at 6%)
Jason Wang, UMC’s Co-President, expressed enthusiasm for the collaboration with Intel, considering it as a significant step in advancing their strategy for cost-efficient capacity expansion and technology node progression. He also emphasized the importance of the collaboration in enabling customers’ transition to the new 12nm FinFET process node application, expanding their addressable market.
The development and manufacturing of the 12nm FinFET process node will take place at Intel’s Ocotillo Technology Fabrication site in Arizona, in Fabs 12, 22, and 32. Intel also stated that the cost-effectiveness of leveraging existing equipment in these fabs, leading to reduce upfront investment and utilize tools.