ASE subsidiary USI sees Poland as first step of EMEA strategy

Misha Lu, DIGITIMES Asia, Taipei 0


The 2023 EU-Taiwan Investment Partnership Forum on Semiconductor Clusters, taking place on Sep. 7 on the sidelines of SEMICON Taiwan, saw new dynamics injected following the passage of the European Chips Act and TSMC's announcement to set up a fab in Germany.

As Laith Altimime, President of SEMI Europe, observed, there has been an influx of investment in Europe since the European Chips Act was passed. Back in Altimime also noted how the semiconductor landscape has significantly shifted in the past few years. "When I asked when TSMC will invest in Europe back in 2018, the answer was 'when the market is there,'" said Altimime.

Alex Lee, senior vice president of Universal Scientific Industrial Co. (USI), a subsidiary of ASE specialized in SiP modules, pointed out that the EMEA region is "the last piece" of USI's global expansion roadmap, adding that USI will also benefit from EMEA talents. As of 2022, USI boasted US$10.1 billion in revenue, almost half of ASE's 2022 revenue of US$22.5 billion, and the IC packaging leader already has 28 manufacturing sites worldwide, along with five design centers.

Lee observed an emergence of mix-sized customers in Europe focusing on high-mixed, low-volume segments in the aerospace and automotive sectors, and indicated USI's planned acquisition of France-based Asteelflash, currently the second largest EMS provider in Europe.

For now, USI operates 13 sites in continental Europe, with four sites in Germany, seven in France, one in Czech Republic, and one in Poland. Notably, according to Lee, USI's European strategy begins with Poland. The Central European country has gained growing interest thanks to Intel's recent decision to invest in a packaging facility in Wrocław. Talking to DIGITIMES Asia, the USI senior vice president indicated that Poland stands out as an investment location in terms of multiple factors after USI surveyed various European countries, adding that the Polish government has also provided much support.

USI's invested its first facility in Poland in 2018, said Lee, and the company plans to double its production capacity there, tapping into Poland's automotive electronics suppliers. Despite Polish competence in photonics, the USI vice president said that photonics is not the current focus of the company, but can be an option in the longer term.