New production facility in Singapore will help meet SOI wafer demand


Bernin, France— Soitec broke ground last week for a new production facility in Singapore to manufacture silicon-on-insulator (SOI) wafers. The plant, designated Fab 3, is expected to start supplying 300-mm SOI wafers by mid-2008. Eventual production capacity of the operation is a million wafers a year.

Fab 3 is Soitec Group's first fab in Asia and part of its strategy to expand worldwide production capacity, enhance R&D efforts, and forge closer relationships with customers. Soitec's president and CEO, Andre-Jacques Auberton-Herve, and S. Iswaran, Singapore's minister of state for trade and industry, attended the groundbreaking ceremonies.

The construction represents the company's efforts to provide sufficient capacity to meet growing industry demand, said Auberton-Herve. 'The performance and power-usage benefits associated with SOI are enabling a growing number of advanced electronic devices, especially leading-edge consumer digital products that are increasingly manufactured in Asia,' he added.

The facility reportedly will employ the newest manufacturing technologies as well as Soitec's extensive engineered substrate production knowledge. It will use complete mini-environments to reduce wafer contamination risk and increase yields. Total investment is estimated at approximately€ 350 million; the facility is expected to employ about 500 and have more than 4,000 sq m of clean room space.

Soitec Group provides engineered substrates that serve as foundations for electronic products and nanotechnologies. It also plans production expansions at its Bernin location.

—Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Jeanine Katzel , senior editor

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