After doing the design and testing of CPU, your company may want to mass produce
the CPUs. There are many "semi-conductor foundries" in the world who will do
that for you for a nominal competetive cost. There are companies in USA,
Germany, UK, Japan, Taiwan, Korea and China.
TMSC (Taiwan) is the "largest independent foundry" in the world.
You may want to shop around and you will get the best rate
for a very high volume production (greater than 100,000 CPU units).
Foundry companies invested very heavily in the infra-structure
and building plants runs in several millions of dollars!
Silicon foundry business will grow from $7 billion to $36
billion by 2004 (414% increase!!).
More integrated device manufacturers (IDMs) opt to outsource
chip production verses adding wafer-processing capacity.
Independent foundries currently produce about 12% of the semiconductors
in the world, and by 2004, that share will more than double to 26%.
The "Big Three" pure-play foundries in the whole world are:
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC)
United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC)
Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing Ltd. Pte.
These three companies collectively account for 69% of today's silicon foundry volume, but
their share is expected to grow to 88% by 2004. These percentages exclude those companies
which are not "pure-play foundries" like Intel, IBM and others who have in-house foundries
for self-production of wafers.