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  • TSMC, UMC Acquire Resources from Foreign Giants
  • October 29, 1998 (TAIPEI) -- Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd. (TSMC) and United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC) entered into a technical cooperation with more than 10 U.S. semiconductor counterparts to acquire intellectual property resources.
    More recently, Acer Semiconductor Manufacturing Inc. (formerly TI-Acer) began cooperating with Hsinchu-based Faraday Technology Corp., the first intellectual property company to be established in Taiwan, to pave the way for a restructuring next year.

    The more experienced a company is in developing integrated circuits, the more abundant its intellectual property resources and the greater its advantage in the industry.

    International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) began releasing some of its abundant intellectual property resources to customers when it decided to enter the wafer OEM market, a move that proved very effective in attracting orders.

    Today, IC design is almost 10 times more complicated than it was even five years ago.

    This makes it necessary for IC designers to use intellectual property to help them increase competitiveness.

    Wafer refinery companies also offer intellectual property free of charge to attract customers.

    U.S. semiconductor makers IBM, Intel Corp., Motorola Inc., Texas Instruments Inc., AT&T; Co., Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) and National Semiconductor Corp. currently boast the highest levels of intellectual property resources in the world.

    TSMC and UMC are now offering intellectual property resources to customers free of charge or at a 50 percent discount. TSMC, for instance, has commissioned a U.S. company to develop 0.25- and 0.18-micron intellectual property, which it plans to offer to its customers for free.

    The island's semiconductor industry is encouraged to obtain intellectual property by way of cooperation with foreign counterparts.

    TSMC, for instance, has already received intellectual property from several overseas partners for the development of digital signal processing units, microcontrollers and central processing units.

    A UMC spokesman said the ability to accumulate IP resources will be a focus of the wafer refinery industry in the future.

    Separately, UMC has also entered cooperation with Mentor Graphics Corp., under which the former has obtained rights to the latter's Cell Library database, which it offers to its customers at a 50 percent discount.

    (Commercial Times, Taiwan)

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    Updated: Wed Oct 28 18:20:00 1998 PDT