Powerchip Semiconductor Corp (
Powerchip's move came after smaller rival ProMOS Technologies Inc (
"China is a market with potential, which cannot be ignored by most companies, including Powerchip," said Powerchip spokesman Eric Tang (
Powerchip ranked No. 6 among the world's dynamic random access memory (DRAM) chipmakers with a 4.7 percent share, according to market researcher iSupply Corp's statistics last month.
Tang said his company planned to file the application before the first quarter of next year, with total investment capped at NT$13 billion.
ProMOS said the proposed chip plant may cost between US$800 million and US$900 million, but the company hasn't yet chosen a site for the project, according to a Chinese-language newspaper report, citing company spokesman Albert Lin (
ProMOS would produce memory chips used in liquid crystal displays at the factory, the newspaper said.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC,
Powerchip's latest China-bound investment did not impress some industry watchers.
"I'm not excited about the news," said Robert Lin (
The step is likely to pave the way for Powerchip to vie for a share in China's memory chip foundry market and diversify its less advanced 8-inch facilities. Most memory chipmakers are pursuing a similar strategy now that more and more DRAM chips are being manufactured at cost-saving 12-inch fabs, Lin said.
But the memory chip foundry business is turning sour as prices tumble due to a crowded field of competitors, such as the DRAM giant Samsung Electronics Co of South Korea, he said.
Powerchip shares edged lower 0.83 percent to NT$23.9 on the nation's over-the-counter Gretai securities market yesterday.