Europractice, UMC Offer 90nm Wafer Prototyping and Production Service

1/17/2006 - IMEC, Europe's largest independent research center in the field of nanoelectronics, and UMC (NYSE: UMC, TSE: 2303), a world-leading semiconductor foundry, announced the extension of IMEC's Europractice IC Service with the offering of UMC's 90nm process technology. UMC and Europractice have collaborated closely for many years in offering UMC's Silicon Shuttle® Multi Project Wafer (MPW) platform for prototyping and production services to European companies and academia.

The availability of 90nm technology will be of particular interest to European-based companies and institutes with low-volume manufacturing needs, such as universities, research centers, start-up companies, and companies with niche markets.

Europractice IC Service, coordinated by IMEC, offers companies ASIC services to help them bring their products to market quickly and cost-effectively. Under the UMC-IMEC foundry agreement, Europractice customers have easy access to UMC's advanced technologies for prototyping and low-volume production, including 0.25, 0.18, 0.13 micron and now 90nm technologies.

For smaller scale research or student designs, Europractice offers a very cost-attractive mini@sic prototyping program. This program reduces prototyping costs for small designs to less than 20% of normal foundry shuttle prices.

Felix Hu, General Manager of UMC Europe, said, "UMC shipped its first 90nm wafers in March 2003. This technology is now in high volume production at UMC on both 12" and 8" wafers for more than 50 Logic and RF products. We are pleased to expand our partnership with Europractice to the 90nm node, as the availability of this technology to European universities, start-ups and smaller companies through Europractice will help further extend the benefits of 90nm into the mainstream."

Carl Das, Director of the Europractice IC Service, said, "With UMC's 90nm offering, Europractice shows its continuous commitment to provide deep submicron ASIC design and fabrication solutions to Academia and smaller companies. By combining the cost advantage of MPW prototyping with the successful mini@sic concept, researchers in academia will have now very cost effective access to 90nm."

About Europractice IC Service
Europractice IC Service was set up in 1995 as part of a project by the European Commission to stimulate use by European industry and universities of advanced IC technologies. The Europractice service, run by a consortium headed by IMEC, offers industry and academia a fully supported, affordable route to IC design, prototyping, and small and medium volume production. Annually, about 500 designs are prototyped and 100 small volume projects are manufactured at leading IC manufacturers.

About IMEC
IMEC is heading the consortium that runs the Europractice IC Service. IMEC is a world-leading independent research center in nanoelectronics and nanotechnology. Its research focuses on the next generations of chips and systems, and on the enabling technologies for ambient intelligence. IMEC's research bridges the gap between fundamental research at universities and technology development in industry. Its unique balance of processing and system know-how, intellectual property portfolio, state-of-the-art infrastructure and its strong network of companies, universities and research institutes worldwide position IMEC as a key partner for shaping technologies for future systems. As an expansion of its wireless research, IMEC has created a legal entity in the Netherlands. Stichting IMEC Nederland runs activities at the Holst Centre, an independent R&D institute that develops generic technologies and technology platforms for autonomous wireless transducer solutions and systems-in-foil.

IMEC is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium, and has representatives in the US, China and Japan. Its staff of about 1400 people includes close to 500 industrial residents and guest researchers. In 2005, its revenues are estimated to be close to EUR 200 million.

About UMC
UMC (NYSE: UMC, TSE: 2303) is a leading global semiconductor foundry that manufactures advanced process ICs for applications spanning every major sector of the semiconductor industry. UMC delivers cutting-edge foundry technologies that enable sophisticated system-on-chip (SoC) designs, including volume production 90nm, industry-leading 65nm, and mixed signal/RFCMOS. UMC's 10 wafer manufacturing facilities include two advanced 300mm fabs; Fab 12A in Taiwan and Singapore-based Fab 12i are both in volume production for a variety of customer products. The company employs approximately 12,000 people worldwide and has offices in Taiwan, Japan, Singapore, Europe, and the United States.

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