According to Businesskorea (Nov. 3), the ongoing shortage of foundry capacity in the global semiconductor industry has had an impact on the R&D activities of South Korean fabless companies (Fabless). This is because prototyping with multi-project wafers (MPWs) has become increasingly difficult.
Businesskorea reported that recently, South Korean company Key Foundry announced that starting next year, the company will no longer provide MPW services to fabless companies. Today, MPW services from local Korean fabs are becoming more and more difficult to obtain.
According to the report, MPW can be defined as foundry services used by fabless companies for product development. Using the service, companies can produce various systems-on-chips on a single wafer. Prototype performance can be checked prior to mass production, reducing risk and cost.
It is understood that judging from the serious shortage of wafer foundry capacity at present, especially until December next year, the 8-inch wafer foundry is full of scheduled orders, and it is difficult to book even if additional fees are paid. Foundries are trying to fill their orders by reducing MPW production lines.