UMC Launches Into LEDs and Solar

Foundry firm will match the investment of larger rival TSMC

2 min read

31 August 2009—Taiwan's United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC), the world's second-largest silicon foundry, says it will allocate NT $1.5 billion (about US $46 million) to launch a subsidiary to invest in solar, LED, and some other high-growth industries. The move follows a similar-size investment by its larger rival, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC).

The UMC subsidiary, called UMC New Business Investment Corp., will be led by UMC senior vice president Wen-Yang Chen and aims to acquire majority shares of its investment targets and to aggressively participate in the operation of the acquired firms. The company said in a 24 August press release that its technologies "are highly applicable to the fundamentals of these two industries [solar and LEDs]." UMC says it plans to complete the development of related technologies and establish preliminary operations in the coming days.

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The Transistor at 75

The past, present, and future of the modern world’s most important invention

1 min read
A photo of a birthday cake with 75 written on it.
Lisa Sheehan

Seventy-five years is a long time. It’s so long that most of us don’t remember a time before the transistor, and long enough for many engineers to have devoted entire careers to its use and development. In honor of this most important of technological achievements, this issue’s package of articles explores the transistor’s historical journey and potential future.

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