Mark LaPedus, EE Times
(05/23/2010 8:45 PM EDT)
SAN JOSE, Calif. -- At a low-key event in Taiwan this week, silicon foundry vendor United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC) celebrated its accomplishments during its 30th anniversary.
But will 2010 be UMC’s last party? Despite the current upturn and renewed growth at UMC, many wonder if the foundry vendor will survive in the long run, as the company has fallen behind the technology curve, seen a key customer in Xilinx Inc. defect to its rival and been the subject of takeover rumors.
Now, there is speculation that UMC may join IBM Corp.’s fab club or form a new R&D alliance with Texas Instruments Inc., in an effort to play catch-up--or even survive--in the foundry market. Others believe that GlobalFoundries Inc. or its big investor--Abu Dhabi's Advanced Technology Investment Co. (ATIC)--may take a stake in UMC in return for fab capacity.
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