UMC's advanced process technology to be made available to Japanese foundry customers through ElpidaTOKYO, JAPAN and Hsinchu, Taiwan -- March 17, 2008
-- Elpida Memory, Inc., a leading global supplier of Dynamic Random Access Memory ("DRAM") and United Microelectronics Corporation ("UMC"), a leading global semiconductor foundry company, today announced their agreement to jointly pursue semiconductor foundry opportunities in Japan. Under this agreement, Elpida will provide its 300mm wafer manufacturing capacity while UMC will contribute the IP support and logic technologies. The joint effort, targeting Japanese foundry customers, will commence at Elpida's 300mm fab in Hiroshima using advanced technologies and applications, including system on chip ("SoC"). The cooperation provides proximity and ease of support for Japan-based foundry customers.
The alliance announced today extends the joint development program that the two companies announced in October 2007 for Copper/low-k, DRAM, and phase-change random access memory ("PRAM") technologies. Thus far, their collaboration is progressing well, which led the two companies to decide to seek out further possibilities for joint development, as well as for cooperation in manufacturing.
This new alliance is ideally positioned to meet the expanding needs of Japanese semiconductor customers. Following the global trend, more and more Japanese IDM's are adopting fab-lite strategies, terminating in-house process technology development and curtailing or eliminating capital intensive manufacturing activities. This collaboration between Elpida and UMC, will address both technology and manufacturing capacity needs for Japanese system customers. This partnership is also expected to bring both companies synergistic manufacturing benefits. Their joint activities will aid both Elpida and UMC, as each brings their own different technological background, and each gains from the relative strengths of the other.
"We believe that Elpida is an attractive outsourcing option for Japanese IC companies due to our close geographic proximity to them and the fact that Elpida does not compete in the same markets as our target foundry customers," said Yukio Sakamoto, president and CEO of Elpida. "Elpida will continue to focus on DRAM manufacturing for mobile devices and digital consumer electronics customers. Overall DRAM business is very volatile, though. We believe continuous growth of our business is made possible through stable profit performance. Adding foundry as another axis of our business is a solution. "
Dr. Jackson Hu, Chairman and CEO of UMC, said, "Elpida's adoption of UMC's advanced foundry process technology is a strong endorsement of our leadership position in this area. Since last October when we announced our first joint collaboration plans with Elpida, our successful progress and mutual understanding have prompted us to extend the scope of our partnership. Utilizing UMC's advanced Copper/Low-k backend of line (BEOL) process, Elpida has been able to demonstrate prototypes that achieve significant performance advantages for its next generation DRAM products".About Elpida Memory, Inc.
Elpida Memory, Inc., (Tokyo Stock Exchange Code 6665), is a leading manufacturer of Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM) integrated circuits. Our design, manufacturing, and sales operations are backed by our world class technology expertise. Our manufacturing facilities, Hiroshima Elpida Memory, Inc. (wafer processing) and Akita Elpida Memory, Inc. (packaging and testing), utilize the most advanced manufacturing technologies available. We currently have customer sales and marketing support offices in Japan, North America, Europe, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore. Elpida's advanced product portfolio features such characteristics as high-density, high-speed, low power and small packing profiles. We provide DRAM solutions across a wide range of applications, including high-end servers, mobile phones and digital consumer electronics.About UMC
UMC (NYSE: UMC, TSE: 2303) is a leading global semiconductor foundry that manufactures advanced system-on-chip (SoC) designs for applications spanning every major sector of the IC industry. UMC's SoC Solution Foundry strategy is based on the strength of the company's advanced technologies, which include production proven 90nm, 65nm, mixed signal/RFCMOS, and a wide range of specialty technologies. Production is supported through 10 wafer manufacturing facilities that include two advanced 300mm fabs; Fab 12A in Taiwan and Singapore-based Fab 12i are both in volume production for a variety of customer products. The company employs approximately 13,000 people worldwide and has offices in Taiwan, Japan, Singapore, Europe, and the United States. UMC can be found on the web at http://www.umc.com