January 8, 2007 – UMC says it has begun construction of its 300mm Fab 12B in southern Taiwan’s Tainan Science Park, and a R&D center on the site is entering the final stages of construction, on pace to be completed in March.
Total investment in the Fab 12B facility is projected to be $5.0 billion, with construction planned to be completed by the end of 2007 and equipment move-in by 1Q08, for a maximum output capacity of 45,000 wafers/month. Both the fab and R&D center are being built adjacent to UMC’s 300mm Fab 12A to enable seamless transfer of engineering resources, technology, and equipment among the facilities.
UMC’s Fab 12A is already up and running at the multistructure site, with output at about 28,000 wafers/month (maximum design capacity is 40,000 wafers/month) and 65nm process technology capabilities. The foundry’s other 300mm facility, Fab 12i in Singapore, utilizes 90nm process technologies and was expected to achieve around 17,000 wafer starts/month by the end of 2006.
In November UMC said it had produced functional 45nm SRAM chips at Fab 12A using immersion lithography for 12 critical layers, as well as ultrashallow junctions, mobility enhancement techniques, and a k=2.5 ultralow-k dieletric. The company said its 45nm process shrinks 6-transistor SRAM cell size by 50% to <0.25 sq. microns vs. its 65nm process, with a 30% increase in device performance, while also shrinking design rules by 30%.