Japanese Firm Plans Semiconductor Plant In Oregon

Sumitomo Electric Industries Ltd. has announced plans to build a plant in Hillsboro, Oreg. -- its first U.S. factory to produce compound semiconductor materials, which have been made in its Japanese plants for more than 30 years. At first, the new plant's production will focus on 150 mm GaAs (Gallium Arsenide) wafers used in wireless communication devices. A second expansion is planned to allow the manufacture of large diameter Indium Phosphide wafers. Total first-phase investment will be $20 million, with additional $70 million expansion potential. The need for quick action to meet increasing demand in the wireless communications industry was key in making the investment, says Kenichi Yoshida, managing director. With the new facility, Sumitomo aims to benefit major U.S. customers including TriQuint in Hillsboro; TRW in Los Angeles; and Motorola in Phoenix. Sumitomo Electric Industries, with headquarters in Tokyo and Osaka, is a $13-billion-plus diversified manufacturer. The Hillsboro plant will be part of its Semiconductor Division, serving as its U.S. headquarters.

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