ASE plant set to restart
Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc (ASE, 日月光半導體), the world’s largest IC packaging and testing services provider, yesterday said that it would soon resume full operations at its Greater Kaohsiung plant. The factory was shut down for environmental pollution reasons, but has now passed inspections by local health authorities, the company said. ASE said it put environmental measures in place last year in the hopes of becoming a role model for local semiconductor suppliers, though it did not specify what the measures were. In December last year, ASE’s K7 plant was ordered to shut down part of its production after it was found to have dumped untreated waste water into a nearby creek. The partial shutdown cost about US$18 million a month, with the factory accounting for about 9 percent of the company’s monthly sales.
UMC inks deal with Infineon
United Microelectronics Corp (UMC, 聯電), the nation’s No. 2 contract chipmaker, yesterday said that it has signed a manufacturing agreement with Infineon Technologies AG to make power semiconductors for automotive electronics. Based on the agreement, Infineon is to transfer its automotive-qualified smart power technology to UMC, which is to produce the chips at its 12-inch factories, the companies said in a joint statement. The production is scheduled to begin in early 2018, the statement added.
MediaTek, schools study 5G
MediaTek Inc (聯發科), the nation’s largest handset chipmaker, yesterday launched a research program with the nation’s top universities to develop 5G wireless technology. The government-funded program aims to develop chips enabling 5G technologies to support future demand for high-speed data transmission on the Internet of Things, according to a company statement. The five schools are National Chiao Tung University, National Tsing Hua University, National Taiwan University and National Taiwan University of Science and Technology.
Delta to take over Eltek
Delta Electronics Inc (台達電), the nation’s top power supply unit maker, yesterday said that it plans to buy power system company Eltek ASA in a deal totaling 3.9 billion Norwegian krone (US$529 million) to expand its markets in the US, Europe and Africa. Delta plans to buy up to 329 million shares, or 100 percent, of Eltek at 11.76 Norwegian krone per share, Delta said in a statement. The transaction is expected to be completed by the middle of next year. Eltek, based in Drammen, Norway, has 2,400 employees across 60 sales offices worldwide.
Cathay Life eyes Rizal stake
Cathay Life Insurance Co Ltd (國泰人壽), a subsidiary of Cathay Financial Holding Co (國泰金控), is scheduled to ink an agreement tomorrow to purchase a nearly 20 percent stake in Rizal Commercial Banking Corp in the Philippines. Cathay Life Insurance said in a statement that the total for the transaction is about 17.92 billion Philippine pesos (US$401.21 million) at 64 pesos per share. The company said that the Philippine banking sector is an attractive market in terms of growth, profitability and asset quality. Cathay Life Insurance said that the transaction is scheduled to take effect in the first quarter of next year after regulatory approval in Taiwan and the Philippines.
NO VIRUS BLUES: A SEMI Taiwan official said that the virus does not slow down the global semiconductor industry’s investment in manufacturing equipment The production value of the nation’s semiconductor industry is expected to grow 16.7 percent this year from last year, outpacing the global industry’s 3.3 percent growth, industry association SEMI said yesterday. That would help Taiwan safeguard its second spot in the global semiconductor market with a production value of more than NT$3 trillion (US$102.73 billion), SEMI Taiwan president Terry Tsao (曹世綸) told a media briefing in Taipei for the Semicon Taiwan trade show beginning today. The global semiconductor industry’s production value is expected to increase to US$426 billion this year, SEMI said. In terms of semiconductor equipment investment, equipment billings from Taiwanese firms
Intel Corp has received licenses from US authorities to continue supplying certain products to Huawei Technologies Co (華為), a company spokesman said yesterday. Washington has been pushing governments around to world to squeeze out Huawei, saying that the telecom giant would hand data to Beijing for espionage. From Monday last week, new curbs have barred US companies from supplying or servicing Huawei. This week, the state-backed China Securities Journal reported that Intel had received permission to supply Huawei. China’s Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC, 中芯國際), which uses US-origin equipment to make chips for Huawei and other companies, last week confirmed that it had sought
Swancor Renewable Energy Co (上緯新能源) yesterday announced plans for a 4.4 gigawatt (GW) offshore wind project off Miaoli County as part of its commitment toward Taiwan’s energy transformation, the company said in a statement. The “Formosa 4” project includes three deep-water wind farms 18km to 20km off the coast, Swancor Renewable CEO Lucas Lin (林雍堯) said, adding that planning for the project began last year. A proposal for Formosa 4 was this week submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the company said. Swancor Renewable jointly developed the Formosa 1 project, a 128 megawatt (MW) wind farm about 4km off Miaoli and the
INVEST IN TAIWAN: A metal components casting firm and the world’s largest maker of aluminum bicycle rims also obtained approvals to join the program Solar Applied Materials Technology Co (SOLAR, 光洋應用材料), a part of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s (TSMC, 台積電) “green supply chain,” has pledged to invest NT$1 billion (US$34.1 million) to build a new plant at the Tainan Technology Industrial Park (台南科技工業區), the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday. SOLAR has been collaborating with TSMC to extract precious metals from waste and reuse them as “sputtering target” material in high-end semiconductor manufacturing, a TSMC press release issued in May said. Established in 1978, SOLAR also offers key materials and integrated services to customers in the optoelectronics, information and communications technology, petrochemicals and consumer electronics industries,