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300mm CMOS TI tools up UMC production capacity

Posted: 26 Jul 2010     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:CMOS  manufacturing  tools  equipment 

Advanced 300mm CMOS manufacturing tools from Texas Instruments will aid in increasing United Microelectronics Corp. production capacity. The manufacturing tools are being acquired by TI as part of a larger asset purchase in Japan that was just announced by TI.

"Our mutually strong relationship with TI provides us this opportunity to work together to obtain leading-edge 300mm fab equipment at a lower cost and with faster delivery times, compared to placing orders for new equipment," said Shih-Wei Sun, CEO of UMC. "These significant advantages will help us better address our customers' advanced production needs as demand for our foundry services continues to be strong."

"UMC is an important foundry partner to us, and we are pleased that we can support them and work closely with them in adding new capacity for customers," said Kevin Ritchie, senior VP and manager of TI's technology and manufacturing group.



COUNTRY: United States

KW: iPad, Apple, iSuppli

LINK_KW: LCD, NAND flash, tablet

ORG: iSuppli Corp.

PUD: 22144

APP: Wireless network equipment, portable computers, personal electronics



TITLE: iPad to rule the roost till 2012

DES: iPad will continue to dominate the market at least till 2012 with shipment of 1.29 crore

(12.9 million) units in 2010 versus the earlier forecast of 71 lakh (7.1 million) units, according to iSuppli Corp.

With Apple Inc. gearing up its iPad component orders with suppliers across Asia and consumer demand for the iPad booming, research firm iSuppli Corp. has likewise pulled up its shipment forecast. iSuppli predicts that Apple will ship 1.29 crore (12.9 million) iPads in 2010, an increase from the previous forecast issued April 2nd of 71 lakh (7.1 million) units. Furthermore, shipments will increase to 3.65 crore (36.5 million) in 2011 and 5.04 crore (50.4 million) in 2012.

Director of monitor research for iSuppli, Rhoda Alexander says, �The iPad is shaping up to be the �Tickle Me Elmo� of the 2010 holiday season, with product demand expected to vastly exceed available supply.�

As iSuppli stated in its initial forecast, the key to continuing success will be how quickly Apple responds to issues as they arise and whether the company can align suppliers to meet demand needs. The firm's latest research indicates there is much higher production than previously expected for two key components: LCD panels and NAND flash.

Original iPad forecast by iSuppli was by far the most aggressive outlook for the product among industry analysis and market research firms issuing outlooks, at the time. iSuppli, in April, characterized its forecast as conservative, and noted that Apple could easily ship higher volumes. Subsequent events have shown iSuppli�s characterisation to be correct. iSuppli also believes that Apple can hit the new unit sales figure within the 19 countries it has already announced for 2010 distribution.

Apple could, arguably, further increase its 2010 production goals, but it risks sacrificing some quality control in the effort. At present, iSuppli estimates that Apple will stay close to the existing production targets, leaving room for further expansion in 2011.

Predicted upgrades, competition

To derive continuous sales growth, Apple undoubtedly will refresh the iPad�s features in April 2011. Additional changes will probably embrace an internal camera and expansion of the product line, potentially including additional screen sizes.

Much of the competition delayed launching rival offerings following the iPad debut to allow time to reconfigure products. Asus and Acer will likely release consumption tablets in the fourth quarter of 2010�joining the likes of Dell, JooJoo, and Germany�s WePad�but competition from Apple competitors is not expected to be significant before 2011, when Hewlett-Packard and others are expected to enter the battle.

The major challenge for Apple competitors will revolve less around hardware but relate more to the suite of applications that can be paired with the hardware. Just like the iPhone, the rest of the market is busily playing catch-up to the iPad at the moment. With nearly 84 per cent share in 2010, Apple�s iPad virtually owns the market, and the device is expected to dominate at least through 2012.

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