UMC, Taiwan’s No. 2 contract chip maker soon after TSMC, is pairing up with Toyota-backed auto-elements supplier Denso to make semiconductors in Japan and fulfill increasing world demand in the automotive sector.

United Semiconductor Japan Co. (USJC), UMC’s Japanese subsidiary, introduced late past thirty day period that it is developing a generation plant for electricity chips that management the stream and path of electrical present with Denso, which is aspect-owned by the world’s greatest automobile maker by sales.

“Semiconductors are starting to be increasingly crucial in the automotive business as mobility technologies evolve, such as automated driving and electrification,” Denso president Koji Arima reported in the announcement. “Through this collaboration, we lead to the steady offer of electricity semiconductors and electrification of cars.”

“It really should be optimistic information,” states Brady Wang, Taipei-based affiliate director with market place study business Counterpoint Study. UMC is by now positioned to do “third-generation” semiconductors, such as strength-preserving sorts with the correct thickness for automotive use. Wang expects substantial-quantity production for the Japanese auto industry. “Both of their positive aspects can be place into play,” he says.

An insulated-gate bipolar transistor—also acknowledged as IGBT, which is employed for electric automobile motor controllers—line will be installed at USJC’s wafer fab. It will be the 1st in Japan to produce IGBTs on 300mm wafers, in accordance to the announcement. Denso will contribute its procedure-oriented IGBT device and procedure know-how, even though USJC will deliver its 300mm wafer producing abilities.

Other chip makers, such as TSMC, can manufacture with IGBT know-how, but Japanese corporations dominate a lot of the current market, notes Joanne Chiao, an analyst with Taiwan-primarily based research company TrendForce.

The UMC-Denso plant, in Mie Prefecture in central Japan, is scheduled to get started in the 1st 50 percent of next yr. A spokesperson for UMC explained the plant will be in a position to create 10,000 wafers a thirty day period by 2025.

“With our sturdy portfolio of sophisticated specialty systems and [International Automotive Task Force] IATF 16949 qualified fabs in diversified destinations, UMC is very well placed to provide demand across automobile apps, which includes superior driver guidance programs, infotainment, connectivity, and powertrain,” Jason Wang, UMC co-president, reported in the announcement. “We look forward to capitalizing on extra cooperation prospects heading ahead with prime players in the automotive area.”

Given that automotive manufacturing restarted around the environment in late 2020, right after the to start with wave of the pandemic, factory need for automotive chips has grown and continues to be powerful for the reason that of “pent-up shopper demand” for EVs and hybrids, Moody’s Investors Support claimed in an emailed commentary.

The automotive semiconductor sector is estimated to increase from $35 billion in 2020 to $68 billion in 2026, Taipei-dependent Sector Intelligence & Consulting Institute states.

By Tara