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(No.1 High-Tech News Site in Japanese)

  • UMC to Adjust Semiconductor Production Capacity
  • October 13, 1998 (TAIPEI) -- United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC) plans to readjust the use of its production capacity and slow down construction of new factories due to sluggish demand in the global semiconductor market.
    In addition to grounding a project at the Tainan Science-based Industrial Park, UMC has been trying to maximize the flexibility of its production capacity, hoping to catch the starting point of the rise of another business cycle.

    Last year's fire at United Integrated Circuits Corp. (UICC), an affiliate of UMC, prompted UMC to shift UICC's orders to two other affiliates -- United Semiconductor Corp. and United Silicon Inc.

    UMC's fifth wafer plant is now in the middle of construction, while the restoration of the UICC plant continues. However, the scheduled clean-room restoration project has been delayed, and UMC has pushed back the timetable of the restoration project due to an overall slump in the semiconductor market.

    According to the current schedule, the installation of production equipment at UICC will begin in June 1999, to be ready for test production in August of the same year. UMC's fifth wafer plant will see equipment installed in May 1999. The UMC plant's average monthly output is 32,000 units, while that of the UICC plant is 27,000 units.

    To lower the cost of expansion while preventing over production at this stage of a bearish market, UMC has been negotiating mergers and acquisitions with overseas semiconductor firms. The consortium just recently merged a Japanese semiconductor maker, and has expressed interest in developing strategic alliances with European manufacturers in the future.

    Related story: Two Top Taiwan Foundries to Expand Capacities Overseas

    (Commercial Times, Taiwan)

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    Updated: Mon Oct 12 17:30:31 1998 PDT