According to media reports, the supply chain has spread,Samsung will generously assist UMC to expand the production capacity of image sensors and panel driver chips.
Samsung has invested in the purchase of 400 additional machines, covering equipment such as etching, thin film, yellow light, and diffusion.
This batch of equipment will be placed in the UMC Nanke P6 plant. The plant will start construction this season and will be mass-produced in 2023.
The monthly production capacity is expected to reach 27,000 pieces. It will mainly produce CIS chips and OLED/LED panel driver ICs.
The initial production will be 28nm process products will not be ruled out to be upgraded to 22nm in the future, and all products will be provided to Samsung.
In response to this news, UMC admitted on the 12th that the Nanke P6 plant will have a new operating model. As for the cooperation partner and investment details, it is still under negotiation, so it is inconvenient to disclose.
This is the first time Samsung has sought to cooperate with wafer foundries in Taiwan.
According to the supply chain, Samsung internally evaluated the insufficient capacity of its own mature processes last year, which is difficult to solve in the short term. Therefore, it intends to promote a plan to find long-term capacity partners externally, and finally selects UMC.
Samsung is the world’s second largest CIS chip supplier,
At present, Samsung is the world’s second largest CIS chip supplier, with a market share of more than 20%, second only to Sony.
Since most CIS products are mainly produced in 8-inch wafer fabs, and most 8-inch manufacturers generally report that their production capacity is tight, this has added a lot of obstacles to Samsung’s competition for Sony’s CIS “dragon chair”.
From the perspective of supply and demand, CIS chips have been in short supply since the fourth quarter of last year, and news of out-of-stock price increases has been reported in this quarter.
On the other hand, benefiting from strong terminal demand for ToF Sensors for mobile phones, industrial automation, and automotive cameras, the CIS chip market has a bright future.
GF Securities predicts that just looking at the automotive CIS industry, its market space in 2019 is US$1.3 billion, and it is expected to reach US$5.4-6.3 billion in the future.
Prior to this, Samsung has already begun to move its production line, and its 11th DRAM chip production line in Hwaseong, South Korea has been transformed into a CMOS image sensor (CIS) production line and entered the mass production stage.
The industry believes that this equipment purchase cost will exceed UMC’s capital expenditure this year (about 1.5 billion US dollars).And Samsung is so “arrogant” to counter the image sensor leader Sony and TSMC’s alliance.
Sony and TSMC’s alliance.
Sony formally signed a contract with TSMC last year, for the first time to commission key parts of CIS chips that were hardly faked by others in the past to TSMC.
In addition, after the outbreak of the new crown pneumonia epidemic, the demand for driver ICs for laptops, TVs, home appliances, car entertainment systems,
and game consoles is in short supply, and driver ICs are mostly manufactured using mature processes above 16nm. Among them, panel driver ICs have become this wave of semiconductors.
In the chip shortage,
Most severely squeezed product, Samsung, in order to ensure that the source of the chip is safe, and therefore assists UMC Nanke’s P6 expansion,
which will allow UMC to expand its operation scale without worrying about order issues.