Kariya, Kuwana, Japan/Hsinchu, Taiwan – May 10, 2023 – DENSO CORPORATION (DENSO), a leading mobility supplier, and United Semiconductor Japan Co., Ltd. (“USJC”), a subsidiary of global semiconductor foundry United Microelectronics Corporation (NYSE: UMC; TWSE: 2303) (“UMC”), today announced a joint collaboration to produce insulated gate bipolar transistors* (IGBT), which have entered mass production at the 300mm fab of USJC. A first shipment ceremony was held today to mark this important milestone. It comes just one year after the companies announced a strategic partnership for this critical power semiconductor used in electric vehicles.
From left, DENSO President Koji Arima, UMC Co-President Jason Wang
As adoption of electric vehicles accelerates, automakers are seeking to boost powertrain efficiency while also increasing cost-effectiveness of electrified vehicles. The jointly invested line at USJC supports the production of a new generation of IGBT developed by DENSO, which offers 20% reduction in power losses compared with earlier generation devices. Production is expected to reach 10,000 wafers per month by 2025.
The ceremony was held today at USJC’s fab in Mie Prefecture, Japan. Attendees included DENSO President Koji Arima, UMC Co-President Jason Wang, Director-General of the Commerce and Information Policy Bureau at Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) Satoshi Nohara, Governor of Mie Prefecture Katsuyuki Ichimi, and Mayor of Kuwana City Narutaka Ito.
“Today, we are thrilled to welcome a memorable shipping ceremony that symbolizes the partnership between DENSO, UMC and USJC. We are from different cultures such as semiconductor industry and automobile industry. However, we have worked steadily with mutual respect which is a source of our strong competitiveness. DENSO, together with our trusted partners, will continue to further accelerate electrification through the production of competitive semiconductors in order to preserve the global environment and create a society full of smiles," said Koji Arima, President of DENSO.
“USJC is proud to be the first semiconductor foundry in Japan to manufacture IGBT on 300mm wafers, offering customers greater production efficiency than the standard fabrication on 200mm wafers. Thanks to our dedicated teams and support from DENSO, we were able to complete trial production and reliability testing without delay and honor the mass production date as agreed with the customer,” said Michiari Kawano, President of USJC.
“It is an honor to be a strategic partner of DENSO, a leading automotive solution provider to global automakers. This collaboration fully demonstrates UMC’s manufacturing capability and our collaborative approach to ensure the success of our foundry customers,” said Jason Wang, Co-President of UMC. “The electrification and automation of cars will continue to drive up semiconductor content, particularly for chips manufactured using specialty foundry processes on 28nm and above nodes. As a specialty technology leader, UMC is well positioned to play a bigger role in the automotive value chain and enabling our partners to capture opportunities and win market share in this rapidly evolving industry.”
From left, USJC Chairman S F Tzou, UMC Co-President Jason Wang, Governor of Mie Prefecture Katsuyuki Ichimi, Director-General of the Commerce and Information Policy Bureau at Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) Satoshi Nohara, Mayor of Kuwana City Narutaka Ito, DENSO President Koji Arima, and DENSO Senior Executive Officer Yoshifumi Kato.
* Insulated gate bipolar transistor (IGBT) is a core device that acts as a switch in inverters to convert DC current from batteries to AC current to drive and control electric vehicle motors. Battery and plug-in electric cars require significantly more IGBT units than conventional ICE cars.
About DENSO CORPORATION
Globally headquartered in Kariya, Japan, DENSO is a $47.9 billion leading mobility supplier that develops advanced technology and components for nearly every vehicle make and model on the road today. With manufacturing at its core, DENSO invests in around 200 facilities worldwide to provide opportunities for rewarding careers and to produce cutting-edge electrification, powertrain, thermal and mobility electronics products, among others, that change how the world moves. In developing such solutions, the company’s 165,000 global employees are paving the way to a mobility future that improves lives, eliminates traffic accidents, and preserves the environment. DENSO spent around 9.0 percent of its global consolidated sales on research and development in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2023. For more information about DENSO’s operations worldwide, visit: https://www.denso.com/global.
UMC (NYSE: UMC, TWSE: 2303) is a leading global semiconductor foundry company. The company provides high quality IC fabrication services, focusing on logic and various specialty technologies to serve all major sectors of the electronics industry. UMC’s comprehensive IC processing technologies and manufacturing solutions include Logic/Mixed-Signal, embedded High-Voltage, embedded Non-Volatile-Memory, RFSOI and BCD etc. Most of UMC's 12-in & 8-in fabs with its core R&D are located in Taiwan, with additional ones throughout Asia. UMC has total 12 fabs in production with combined capacity of approximately 850,000 wafers per month (8-in equivalent), and all of them are certified with IATF 16949 automotive quality standard. UMC is headquartered in Hsinchu, Taiwan, plus local offices in United States, Europe, China, Japan, Korea & Singapore, with worldwide total 20,000 employees. For more information, please visit: https://www.umc.com.
Note from UMC Concerning Forward-Looking Statements
Some of the statements in the foregoing announcement are forward-looking within the meaning of the U.S. Federal Securities laws, including statements about introduction of new services and technologies, future outsourcing, competition, wafer capacity, business relationships and market conditions. Investors are cautioned that actual events and results could differ materially from these statements as a result of a variety of factors, including conditions in the overall semiconductor market and economy; acceptance and demand for products from UMC; and technological and development risks. Further information regarding these and other risks is included in UMC’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. UMC does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statement as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required under applicable law.