- Shortening the Start-up Period for 0.18um Process Business with One Stroke -
On March 15, 1999, Kawasaki Steel’s LSI Division and United Microelectronics Corporation (UMC) of Taiwan concluded a strategic alliance relationship for leading edge processes in the LSI business, beginning with the 0.18um process. Under the terms of this agreement, engineers from Kawasaki Steel will participate in the development programs of the UMC group, and the two companies will carry out joint development. The UMC Group, on the other hand, will provide foundry services for Kawasaki Steel, supporting this company’s ASIC business, and Kawasaki will entrust the production of ASICs exceeding its own production capacity to the UMC Group.
Through this alliance, Kawasaki Steel Corporation, which possesses a high level of competitiveness in design technology, and the UMC Group, which is the world's most competitive specialty foundry business, will enjoy a mutually complementary relationship in promoting their respective semiconductor businesses. In comparison with the start-up schedule originally proposed in Kawasaki Steel’s 2nd Mid-term Management Plan (FY1999 to FY 2001), the alliance has also made it possible for Kawasaki, with one stroke, to shorten the start-up period for its 0.18um process business by at least 18 months.