Billion Dollar Microchip Plant opens in Singapore

Samsung Electronics and Siltronic open joint venture

South Korea's Samsung Electronics and Siltronic AG of Germany said they had opened on June 19 their one-billion joint venture microchip plant in Singapore. Siltronic Samsung Wafer Pte Ltd. will produce 300 mm wafers and aims to reach a monthly capacity of 300,000 by 2010, a statement said.

"Today's commissioning is a key milestone in further expanding our presence on Asia's growth markets," said Siltronic chief executive officer Wilhelm Sittenthaler. Oh-Hyun Kwon, president of Samsung Electronics' semiconductor business division, said the 300 mm segment is undergoing rapid growth.

"Singapore has positioned itself to take full advantage of this and remain a leading manufacturing location in Asia for electronics and semiconductors," said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. Domestic exports of electronic goods from Singapore have been declining since February last year, according to the government's trade promotion agency.

At a press conference, Kwon said that a major recovery in the semiconductor industry is unlikely this year because of an increase in production leading to price declines. But he said Samsung sticks to its plans regardless of the market situation "because we have a very long-term plan."

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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