Texas Instruments is outsourcing more orders to Taiwanese chip maker UMC this year. (File Photo/CFP)
Leading semiconductor manufacturer Texas Instruments has begun to transfer part of its 65-nanometer OMAP 3 production lines to Taiwanese chip maker United Microelectronics Corporation (UMC).
In addition, Texas Instruments has outsourced almost all of its orders for 45nm OMAP 4 and 28nm OMAP 5 to UMC. The OMAP 3 production line will reportedly be operated Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), the world's largest dedicated chip-making foundry.
Texas Instruments has given more orders than previously expected to UMC because the American company has obtained contracts of several mobile phone and tablet manufacturers. UMC can therefore increase the utilization rate of its 12-inch semiconductor factory to 90%, earlier than the company had expected.
Texas Instruments decided to halt its own production line for chips below 45nm in 2007 and has outsourced to other semiconductor manufacturers, including TSMC, UMC and Samsung.
The 28nm OMAP 5 line is also expected to be outsourced to UMC and to begin production from the second half of this year. UMC has become Texas Instruments' major contractor for semiconductor production below 45nm.
UMC has performed well so far in the first quarter to improve the company's utilization rate of production capacity to 80% even before the new orders came in from Texas Instruments, including obtaining orders for mobile phone chips from the American telecom corporation Qualcomm and urgent orders from Marvell Technology and Broadcom, also from the United States.