ProMOS Technologies Inc (茂德科技), the nation's No. 3 computer memory chipmaker, yesterday said it had inked an agreement for the transfer of Toppan Printing Co Ltd's technology in manufacturing CMOS image sensors.
The agreement is part of ProMOS' efforts to diversify away from the highly volatile memory industry by revitalizing older facilities and equipment for use in manufacturing other products, Ben Tseng (曾邦助), spokesman for PROMOS, said by telephone.
"CMOS image sensors are mostly used in consumer electronics, which is a relatively stable market in terms of pricing," Tseng said.
CMOS, or complementary metal-oxide semiconductor technology is used to produce image sensors. The company plans to manufacture CMOS image sensors mainly for use in mobile phones and other products such as digital cameras.
"This new product will provide a way for us to hedge against the volatile DRAM market," Tseng said.
DRAM prices had fallen 60 percent during the first six months of the year, Tseng said.
Under the agreement, Tokyo-based Toppan Printing would license its process technologies for on-chip color filters and micro lenses, ProMOS said in a statement yesterday.
In 2004, Toppan Printing formed a CMOS image sensor manufacturing venture with China's biggest chipmaker, Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (
ProMOS expects to start supplying CMOS sensors for customers on a contract basis in the first quarter of next year at the earliest, Tseng said.
The chipmaker plans to make CMOS sensors at an old 12-inch (300mm) plant in Hsinchu, ProMOS said, joining bigger local rivals such as Powerchip Semiconductor Corp (力晶半導體) in making products other than DRAM chips at less cost-competitive factories.
He declined to reveal the amount of additional investment needed to upgrade the facility to accommodate CMOS sensor production.
ProMOS has said it plans to spend US$1.88 billion for new facilities and equipment this year.
The company is scheduled to release its second-quarter results on Friday. The company may fall into the red because of drastic price falls.
Sales for the first seven months jumped 26 percent to NT$31.3 billion (US$951 million) from a year ago, ProMOS said early this month.
Credit Suisse last month upgraded ProMOS and Powerchip to "outperform" from "neutral," citing improving industrial prospects on disciplined capacity expansion.
The stock price of ProMOS slid 0.79 percent to NT$12.5 yesterday, slightly better than the benchmark TAIEX, which fell 0.9 percent.
Shares of the nation's two biggest DRAM suppliers, Powerchip and Nanya Technology Corp (
More than 20,000 employees at Apple Inc supplier Foxconn Technology Group’s (富士康) huge Chinese plant, mostly new hires not yet working on production lines, have left, a Foxconn source familiar with the matter said yesterday. The departures from the world’s largest iPhone factory dealt a fresh blow to the Taiwanese company, which has been grappling with strict COVID-19 restrictions that have fueled worker discontent and disrupted production ahead of Christmas and January’s Lunar New Year holiday. Concerns are mounting over Apple’s ability to deliver products for the busy holiday period as the worker unrest lingers at the Zhengzhou plant, which produces the
FACTORY TUMULT: The departure of new workers impact production less than the quarantines imposed on existing employees, a worker at China’s ‘iPhone city’ said Turmoil at Apple Inc’s key manufacturing hub in Zhengzhou is likely to result in a production shortfall of almost 6 million iPhone Pro units this year, a person familiar with assembly operations said. The situation remains fluid at the plant and the estimate of lost production could change, the person said, asking not to be named discussing private information. Much depends on how quickly Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密), the Taiwanese company that operates the facility, can get people back to assembly lines after violent protests against COVID-19 restrictions. If lockdowns continue in the weeks ahead, production could be set further
’INHERENT VULNERABILITIES’: The country has been working with the US to build its own lithium and rare earth mines in a bid to curb China’s dominance in the market Australia is vowing more assertive scrutiny of foreign investments in key commodities tied to electric vehicles and clean energy, in a potential warning to China which dominates the market. Australian Treasurer Jim Chalmers has asked the country’s Treasury to work with the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board and other stakeholders to undertake a review of foreign investment in sectors such as lithium and rare earths, he told a conference in Sydney yesterday. “We’ll need to be more assertive about encouraging investment that clearly aligns with our national interest in the longer term,” Chalmers said. Although Chalmers did not directly identify China investment as
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (阿里巴巴) founder Jack Ma (馬雲) has been living in Tokyo for almost six months after disappearing from public view following China’s crackdown on the tech sector, the Financial Times reported yesterday, citing multiple unnamed sources. The billionaire has kept a low profile since the crackdown, which has included Chinese regulators scrapping the initial public offering of Ma’s Ant Group Co (螞蟻集團) and issuing Alibaba with record fines. However, the Times said he has spent much of the past six months with his family in Tokyo and other parts of Japan, along with visits to the US and Israel. The