Last Thursday, Qualcomm President Derek Aberle attended the United Microelectronics Corporation (UMC) groundbreaking ceremony in the Xiamen National Torch Hi-tech Industrial Development Zone in Xiamen, located in China’s Fujian province. The plant, which will begin trial production in December 2016 and official production in 2021, is a joint venture between UMC, the city of Xiamen, and Fujian Electronics and Information Group.
Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. is a large customer of UMC and the event not only highlighted its commitment to the semiconductor maker (a.k.a. a fab) but also Qualcomm’s commitment to China and ensuring that the country is a key player in the mobile ecosystem moving forward.
What Qualcomm Technologies is doing with UMC is similar to what it’s done with other fabs in the region—essentially helping them develop their processes and the technology. Once the initial projects are over, the fabs can serve anyone they want—including local Chinese companies—not just Qualcomm Technologies. Ideally, Qualcomm Technologies will benefit by getting its chips made in an efficient and accurate manner while UMC gets its services and technologies out on the market as well as business from Qualcomm Technologies—a world leader in wireless technologies and wireless chipsets.
This particular project also serves another purpose: accelerating the realization of the Internet of Everything. The soon-to-be-built UMC plant will focus on 40 nanometer and 50nm technologies. In an interview with ChinaDaily.com.cn, Aberle said that the fabrication will begin with the 40nm and 50nm parts, which supports what Qualcomm see as “the biggest drivers of growth in the semiconductor industry over the next five to 10 years: non-handset connected devices and the opportunities arising from the Internet of Things.”
To learn more about the event, check it out on ChinaDaily.com.cn.