- Intel and United Microelectronics Corp. are partnering to develop a 12-nanometer semiconductor process platform, according to a Jan. 25 press release.
- The collaboration aims to target high-growth markets such as mobile, communication infrastructure and networking, and is a step toward Intel’s goal of becoming the world’s second-largest foundry by 2030.
- The new process node will be manufactured in Fabs 12, 22 and 32 at Intel’s Ocotillo Technology Fabrication site in Chandler, Arizona, with production expected to begin in 2027.
The partnership leverages Intel’s U.S.-based high-volume manufacturing capacity and experience in the Fin-shaped Field-Effect transistor design and Taiwan-based UMC’s Process Design Kit and customer assistance. This also reduces upfront investment requirements by producing chips at an existing facility, the release stated.
“There is currently limited Western capacity for a 12 nm process. This collaboration will allow the companies to address a greater share of the massive foundry market opportunity while offering a secure, resilient and geographically diversified supply chain that customers require today,” an Intel spokesperson told Manufacturing Dive in an email.
The partnership announcement comes a day after Intel opened up a Fab 9 advanced semiconductor packaging technologies factory in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. The $3.5 billion investment has created more than 3,000 construction jobs and an additional 3,500 jobs across the state.
Intel has established or planned manufacturing sites and investments in Oregon, Arizona, New Mexico and Ohio, as well as globally in Ireland, Germany, Poland, Israel and Malaysia.
In an effort to become a major contract chipmaker, Intel also restructured its manufacturing business last year. After launching “Intel Foundry Services” in March 2021, they made the Foundry a stand-alone unit, expecting billions in cost savings while designing and building chips for other companies, like Siemens.
Intel’s New Mexico fab is just one of many semiconductor factories chipmakers are opening this year. The Biden administration is expected to award billions of dollars in subsidies to top semiconductor companies like Intel and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company in the coming weeks to help build new factories, the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday.