Source: Unsplash

Foxconn has laid a new milestone for both its semiconductor business and China’s semiconductor ambition. Together with China’s Rongkong Group, a state-owned enterprise, Foxconn has invested in an advanced chip packaging facility in China’s costal city Qingdao. Through two intermediaries, Foxconn has a combined 27.5% share in the new facility, while Rongkong Group has a 46.85% share. Volume production will start in December, and by 2025 the plant is scheduled to reach its full capacity of 360,000 wafers per year. 

Currently, Foxconn has two chip packaging businesses under its wing. The first of them is ShunSin Technoogy, and the other is Foxconn’s own semiconductor division which oversights the Qingdao-based packaging facility. 

Notably, the packaging facility also serves China’s semiconductor industrial policy by using the country’s domestically produced lithography machines. The new packaging facility has reportedly purchased 46 lithography machines from SMEE to support advanced packaging technologies such as Flip Chip, Fan-In WLP, Fan-Out WLP, and 2.5D/3D. 

Shanghai Microelectronics Equipment Co. (SMEE), founded in 2002, is expected by the Chinese government to be its answer to ASML, the Dutch lithography machine maker that has dominated the lithography market. Earlier, SMEE only produces 90nm lithography machines. However, SMEE once announced that it would deliver China’s first 28nm lithography machines between 2021 and 2022. Even Huawei has indirectly cooperated with SMEE to solve the EUV chokepoint that has been derailing China’s chip autonomy ambition.