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Taiwan’s UMC and Intel team up on 12 nm chips in Arizona

Production of 12 nm process node expected to begin in 2027

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UMC. (Reuters photo)

UMC. (Reuters photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwanese contract chipmaker United Microelectronics Corporation (UMC) and Intel announced Thursday (Jan. 25) they will collaborate on the development of a 12-nanometer process platform in Arizona.

The two companies look to target high-growth markets such as mobile, communication infrastructure, and networking. The deal will take advantage of Intel’s at-scale manufacturing capacity in the U.S. and UMC’s foundry experience with mature nodes.

The 12 nm node will utilize Intel’s experience in FinFET transistor design. Production will also benefit from UMC’s know-how in providing customers with Process Design Kits (PDK) and design assistance

The new process node will be developed and manufactured at three of Intel’s fabs at its Ocotillo site in Arizona. The partnership will also leverage existing equipment within the Intel plants to reduce upfront investment costs, Intel said.

“Taiwan has been a critical part of the Asian and global semiconductor and broader technology ecosystem for decades, and Intel is committed to collaborating with innovative companies in Taiwan, such as UMC, to help better serve global customers,” said Stuart Penn, Intel senior vice president and general manager of Intel Foundry Services.

“This effort will enable our customers to smoothly migrate to this critical new node, and also benefit from the resiliency of an added Western footprint. We are excited for this strategic collaboration with Intel, which broadens our addressable market and significantly accelerates our development roadmap leveraging the complementary strengths of both companies,” said Jason Wang (王石), UMC co-president.

The 12 nm chips are expected to go into production at the start of 2027, according to Intel.