15 August 2003 Munich/Hsinchu, Taiwan Lightwave--Semiconductor manufacturer Infineon Technologies AG announced that it has signed an agreement with United Epitaxy Company (UEC), Taiwan, to set up a joint venture for the manufacturing and development of fiber-optics components. The joint venture will be based within the existing facility of UEC at Hsinchu Science-based Industrial Park in Taiwan. It will be established in October 2003.
Subject to approval by the German anti-trust authority, Infineon will hold 56% of the shares of the joint venture and UEC the remainder 44%. The total investment over the next five years including business start-up, manufacturing site, equipment, and other infrastructures, amounts to approximately U.S. $12 million and will be made according to the shareholding ratio of the parent companies. When operating at full capacity of up to 100 wafer starts per week the joint venture will employ around 120 people.
The new company will integrate the fiber-optics technology of the two parent companies to achieve manufacturing and development synergies. Under the terms of the agreement, both companies will license their respective technology to the joint venture. In return, the new company will manufacture optochips for Infineon and UEC. Both partners will assemble the optochips into high-end micro systems and components for the market of high-speed data transmission products based on fiber-optics technology. These products are used in telecommunication and data communication networks.
"Taiwan is always an engine of the global IT industry. This joint venture between Infineon and UEC is our further recognition of Taiwan's role in the global IT industry," said Mr. Loh Kin Wah, president of Infineon Technologies Asia Pacific Pte Ltd. "This joint venture will ensure sufficient supply and develop the most competitive fiber-optics products for Infineon and UEC."
"The joint venture between Infineon and UEC, supports the Taiwan government's policies for industry upgrading, bringing in the world's cutting-edge optical communications technology," said Kuo-Hsin Huang, chairman, UEC. "The cooperation with Infineon is also expected to enhance R&D and manufacturing capability at the new company because of Infineon's global leadership in the fiber-optics communications field and UEC's prowess of manufacturing."
The joint venture is scheduled to launch in October 2003; clean room and major equipment installation is expected to be completed within the fourth quarter of 2003 with trial production slated for the first quarter of 2004 and mass production for the fourth quarter of 2004.