The addition would be made at UMC’s Tainan fab.
The cost would lift UMC’s 2021 capex by 53% to $2.3 billion.
Calling it an “innovative, win-win” arrangement, UMC CEO Jason Wang said: “This will strengthen our financial position to capture the market opportunity.”
UMC had 100% capacity utilisation in Q1 and expects it to stay there. It expects its ASPs to rise 10% this year.
“There is a supply-demand imbalance in mature nodes,” says Liu Chi-tung, UMC CFO, “we have seen lots of capacity expansion in advanced nodes, but companies have not addressed the mature nodes. There are lots of critical components on those nodes.”