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Soitec starts work on new Singapore fab

Posted: 30 Aug 2006     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Soitec  300mm fab  Singapore  Jonathan Hopfner 

Silicon-on-insulator (SOI) wafer supplier Soitec has started work early this week on a new 300mm fab at Singapore. According to Soitec CEO Andre-Jacques Auberton-Herve, this new fab will play a key role in the company's growth strategy.

During the groundbreaking ceremony for the Rs.205.35 crore ($448 million) facility, Auberton-Herve shared that Soitec needed to boost its Asian presence because the region has become "the epicenter of semiconductor manufacturing."

"The digital consumer electronic products that are increasingly driving industry growth and leveraging SOI are largely being manufactured in Asia," he said

Auberton-Herve disclosed that the company currently exports more than 99 per cent of its manufacturing output, and that it is in "high gross mode" in the region, which now accounts for about 12 per cent of revenues.

Fab construction is scheduled to wind up in the Q3 2007, but Auberton-Herve said wafer production would not start before mid-2008. About 500 workers won't be hired until 2009. Soitec plans to ramp the facility to its full capacity of 10 lakh wafers annually as soon as possible, he said.

Soitec is counting on increasingly sophisticated consumer products such as the XBox and the Playstation 3 to create demand for SOI chips and therefore "more capacity and more fabs," Auberton-Herve said.

- Jonathan Hopfner
EE Times

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