Digitimes' sources report that OmniVision is looking to buy a stake in Wuhan Xinxin Semiconductor Manufacturing, a 12-inch wafer fab in China. Wuhan Xinxin is a joint venture between SMIC and the Wuhan government. SMIC managed Wuhan Xinxin for the local government until around mid-2011 when both parties entered a joint venture agreement allowing SMIC to not only manage but also invest in the 12-inch fab.
Reportedly, Omnivision has already proposed to buy the shares of the 12-inch fab held by SMIC and Wuhan City for approximately US$80M. The talks are supposed to be finalized in the middle of September.
So far OminiVision uses TSMC and Powerchip fabs for its sensors. In response to the speculations, TSMC reiterated that its cooperation with OmniVision remains unchanged.
Wuhan Xinxin now has a monthly capacity of about 20,000 12-inch wafers, with a goal of achieving a production capacity 45,000 units per month.