Tuesday, January 8, 2019
Unless Presidents Trump and Xi come up with a trade deal, UMC’s DRAM co-development project with China’s Fujian Jin Hua looks like being wound up.
UMC has told around 140 engineers out of 300 working on the project that they will be assigned to other projects, reports the Nikkei.
The $5.6 billion Fujian Jin Hua project was to have been China’s flagship DRAM operation but the project came to a halt when the US government banned US suppliers from dealing with Fujian.
UMC’s involvement as a supplier of process technology began in 2016. The original intention was that the Fujian fab would be running wafers by the end of 2018.
When the US government announced its ban on US suppliers, ASML, Lam Research and others pulled out of the Fujian site stopping further progress.
The US DoJ has also brought an action against UMC and Fujian for stealing Micron’s process technology.
UMC is thought to be concerned about its core foundry business which relies heavily on US customers.
UMC’s CFO says the development deal with Fujian is suspended but not terminated.
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