Taiwan start-up in twin fab plan

Taiwan start-up in twin fab plan
David Manners in Taiwan An aggressive new foundry start-up in Taiwan is building two wafer fabs simultaneously and starts installing equipment in the first of them next week. The company is called Worldwide Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (WSMC) and has the goal of shipping 10,000 wafers by the end of this year. Such is the demand for Taiwan foundry that it has already sold out all its capacity until June next year. “Actually we’ve overcommitted a little bit,” WSMC’s president Richard Chang told EW. Asked why his business plan was so aggressive as to build two fabs at once, Chang replied: “Because the contractors will build Fab 2 for a third of the cost of Fab 1.” Chang, for 20 years a TI employee, has built eight fabs in his career. Overall, Fab 2 will cost $1.2bn as opposed to the $1bn cost of Fab 1 because Fab 2 will go down to 0.15?m. Fab 1 will go to 0.18?m. The plan is to start equipping Fab 2 next year. Both are 30,000 eight inch wafers a month facilities. Three companies have signed up to take a third of WSMC’s output – Toshiba, Winbond and the fabless Taiwanese design house Syntek. WSMC has 500 employees of which over 40 per cent have post graduate degrees. “We have the most excellent team with an average industry experience of 6.5 years,” said Chang. Capital of $600m was provided by the China Development, Hambrecht and Quist, Winbond and by major industrial groupings such as China Steel and Yue Long Group.


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