Intel is partnering with Taiwanese foundry UMC to jointly manufacture 12nm FinFET chips in Intel’s Arizona fabs. Offering a “strong combination of maturity, performance and power efficiency,” the 12nm platform targets “high-growth markets” such as mobile, communication infrastructure and networking.
For Intel, the deal offers the opportunity to repurpose fabs and tools that are already depreciated. Working with a pure-play foundry could also help the IDM transition to a contract manufacturing business model. “Intel’s strategic collaboration with UMC is another important step toward our goal of becoming the world’s second-largest foundry by 2030,” says Stuart Pann, senior vice president and general manager of Intel Foundry Services (IFS).
For UMC, the collaboration accelerates its roadmap and the move to FinFET technology without having to invest heavily. Sporting a global market share of about 6 percent, the foundry is much slower to introduce new process technology than its ‘big brother’ TSMC. “Our collaboration with Intel on a US-manufactured 12nm process with FinFET capabilities is a step forward in advancing our strategy of pursuing cost-efficient capacity expansion,” UMC co-president Jason Wang comments.