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

UMC, Taiwan’s No. 2 contract chip maker after TSMC, is pairing up with Toyota-backed car-parts provider Denso to make semiconductors in Japan and meet rising international demand within the automotive sector.

United Semiconductor Japan Co. (USJC), UMC’s Japanese subsidiary, introduced late final month that it’s constructing a manufacturing plant for energy chips that management the circulation and course of electrical present with Denso, which is part-owned by the world’s largest automotive maker by gross sales.

“Semiconductors have gotten more and more necessary within the automotive business as mobility applied sciences evolve, together with automated driving and electrification,” Denso president Koji Arima mentioned within the announcement. “By way of this collaboration, we contribute to the steady provide of energy semiconductors and electrification of cars.”

“It must be constructive information,” says Brady Wang, Taipei-based affiliate director with market analysis agency Counterpoint Analysis. UMC is already positioned to do “third-generation” semiconductors, together with energy-saving varieties with the best thickness for automotive use. Wang expects high-volume manufacturing for the Japanese auto market. “Each of their benefits might be put into play,” he says.

An insulated-gate bipolar transistor—also referred to as IGBT, which is used for electrical car motor controllers—line might be put in at USJC’s wafer fab. It is going to be the primary in Japan to provide IGBTs on 300mm wafers, in line with the announcement. Denso will contribute its system-oriented IGBT gadget and course of know-how, whereas USJC will present its 300mm wafer manufacturing capabilities.

Different chip makers, together with TSMC, can manufacture with IGBT expertise, however Japanese corporations dominate a lot of the market, notes Joanne Chiao, an analyst with Taiwan-based analysis agency TrendForce.

The UMC-Denso plant, in Mie Prefecture in central Japan, is scheduled to begin within the first half of subsequent 12 months. A spokesperson for UMC mentioned the plant will be capable of produce 10,000 wafers a month by 2025.

“With our sturdy portfolio of superior specialty applied sciences and [International Automotive Task Force] IATF 16949 licensed fabs in diversified places, UMC is nicely positioned to serve demand throughout auto functions, together with superior driver help programs, infotainment, connectivity, and powertrain,” Jason Wang, UMC co-president, mentioned within the announcement. “We stay up for capitalizing on extra cooperation alternatives going ahead with prime gamers within the automotive area.”

Since automotive manufacturing restarted all over the world in late 2020, after the primary wave of the pandemic, manufacturing facility demand for automotive chips has grown and stays sturdy due to “pent-up shopper demand” for EVs and hybrids, Moody’s Buyers Service mentioned in an emailed commentary.

The automotive semiconductor market is estimated to develop from $35 billion in 2020 to $68 billion in 2026, Taipei-based Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute says.

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