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News Center What's New
Taiwan Industrial Bureau solicits overseas semi equipment suppliers to invest in Taiwan
 
  Driven by attempts to increase the equipment self-sufficiency rate for local Taiwan semiconductor players, officials from the Industrial Bureau of Taiwan said the authority's director general will soon visit five leading overseas equipment suppliers, as well as these suppliers' corresponding partners, to explore opportunities for these companies to construct production facilities or outsource component production in Taiwan.

Under the aid of the Metal Industries Research & Development Center and a non-specified equipment vendor, the officials said Chao-Yih Chen, director general of the bureau, will soon make his visit to equipment suppliers in Japan and the US. Taiwan's government aims to grow local semiconductor companies' equipment sufficiency to 50% in the future in order to enhance the region's competitiveness.

Given the fact that Taiwan wafer fabs produce a wide-range of ICs, these equipment vendors will find Taiwan as an ideal "test bed" for future deployment in other markets, the officials noted.

Although a previous attempt several years ago by an equipment supplier to establish a local equipment supply chain failed, due to Taiwan players lacking the related experience and technology edge at that time, the officials noted that the LCD panel industry has been able to increase its equipment self-sufficiency rate to 40% in only three-year's time. With the local semiconductor equipment market having grown in the past several years in terms of technology advancement, the government aims to renew its drive to achieve equipment self-sufficiency, they added.

The role that local equipment suppliers will play will mainly focus on equipment component production for 8-inch wafer fabrication, given the fact that local vendors do not have sufficient patents on hand, the officials said. They anticipate that these equipment suppliers may gradually increase their role by supplying equipment and corresponding components for 12-inch or even 18-inch wafer fabrication in the future.

While Taiwan's government is proceeding with its plan, any real progress in the market will mean that stiff challenges are overcome. Despite Taiwan semiconductor companies being vital to equipment suppliers, even they do not much enjoy special offers from the suppliers. So, it is difficult to simply assume that international equipment vendors will assist Taiwan's semiconductor industry in growing its equipment self-sufficiency unless it leads to an overall suppression of their production costs without affecting their quality, industry watchers noted.

However, although Taiwan equipment suppliers lack a well-established market reputation, international equipment makers can establish production facilities in Taiwan, and/or outsource a certain amount of component production to verified sub-contractors in the region, as having a certain proportion of components made domestically means a critical cost reduction in terms of both money and time, the industry players pointed out.

Despite the challenges Taiwan's semiconductor equipment industry faces, just the fact that government officials are pushing for self-sufficiency and leading equipment makers are not strongly protesting discussions on the matter should be taken in a positive light, the industry watchers added.
release time:2008-1-8
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