Foxconn buys chip factory from Macronix in order to enter electric vehicle market • The Register


Taiwanese electronics giant Foxconn bought a chip factory for $ 90.8 million from compatriot Macronix International.

“Macronix is ​​delighted to see that the 6 inch insert factory in question continues to make a contribution to Taiwan as Foxconn commits to the factory being used as an important base for Foxconn to strengthen its development plan. semiconductor and meet the demand for electric vehicles, “said Miin Wu, chairman and chief executive officer of Macronix, in a statement posted on the Foxconn website.

The sale agreement includes Macronix’s 6-inch wafer manufacturing plant and equipment, but no employees, in Taiwan’s Hsinchu Science Park and is expected to close by the end of 2021.

The installation will focus on silicon carbide semiconductors, or SiC chips, which have high voltage resistance and good heat dissipation, and are often used in 5G base stations and fast charging installations.

Foxconn has increasingly focused on the electric vehicle market as part of its ‘3 + 3’ strategy, which essentially means that it is seeking entry into smart healthcare, electric vehicles and the market. robotics with a focus on next-generation AI, semiconductors and telecommunications.

The auto industry has been hit hardest by the current semiconductor shortage, as electric vehicles use more chips than traditional cars.

Foxconn has already flirted with the semiconductor industry, partnering with Arm, owned by Softbank, to create a chip design center in Shenzhen, China, creating the subgroup “S” focused on integrated circuits in 2017, and even unsuccessfully trying to purchase a 2019 chip production facility from Fujitsu.

The fabulous acquisition is the boldest move yet for Foxconn’s semiconductor dreams.

Although this is not without political interest. Foxconn has more factories in China than in any other country. Twelve are located in nine Chinese cities and its largest factory is in Shenzhen, which produces many spare parts for Apple’s iPhone.

US sanctions against silicon manufacturers are ongoing and damaging Chinese industry.

On the same day as Foxconn’s announcement, US President Joe Biden signed an executive order for efforts to make 50% of all passenger vehicles sold electric by 2030.

In his speech before signing the order, he said the United States had done most of the research and development on electric vehicle technology, but lagged behind profits due to inaction.

“China has moved and China now has the market. So we just have to get back into the game,” Biden said.

He announced an infrastructure plan including 500,000 charging stations along roads and highways and in residential areas. He also detailed the Build Back Better plan, which invests in research and development of multigenerational batteries and semiconductors.

“Right now, China is leading the way and is one of the largest and fastest growing electric vehicle markets in the world. And a key part of the electric vehicle – to be obvious – is the battery. And right now, 80 percent of the manufacturing capacity for these batteries is done in China, ”Biden said.

He added, “We have led the development of this technology. And there is no reason we cannot reclaim that leadership and lead again. But we just have to move forward, and we have to move fast.” ®

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