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5. Fabrication, Manufacturing CPUs

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).

5.1 Foundry Business is in Billions of dollars!!

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:

  1. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC)
  2. United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC)
  3. 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.

5.2 Fabrication of CPU

There are hundreds of foundries in the world (too numerous to list). Some of them are -

If you know any major foundries, let me know I will add to list.

List of CHIP foundry companies


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