Skip to comments.Infineon readies new 300-mm fab in Virginia for $1 Billion expansion
Posted on 02/19/2005 5:37:54 PM PST by nwrep
RICHMOND, Va. Infineon Technologies AG began installing equipment in its new 300-mm memory fab near here in mid-December and the chip maker expects to ramp up the factory for limited DRAM production sometime later this year, company managers said during a tour of the new 120,000-square-foot facility on Wednesday (Feb. 16).
The roughly $1 billion expansion of the Richmond fab is intended to boost Infineon's capacity of 512-megabit density SDRAMs. The output is expected to meet growing demand from its core automotive, mobile communications and computer customers, according to Robert LeFort, president of Infineon Technologies North America Corp. (San Jose, Calif.).
LeFort said the DRAM fab expansion is justified based on the company's projections for greater demand for memory, especially for consumer electronics products and mobile phones. Overall, LeFort said Infineon expects "reasonable growth" in the chip industry during 2005.
Henry Becker, managing director of the Richmond fab, wouldn't specify when production would begin in the 300-mm facility, but he did say Infineon will "prove out" the equipment as soon as possible so it can achieve working silicon and then move to 90-nm production.
Infineon hopes to begin 90-nm production at its 300-mm fab in Dresden, Germany, by mid-year, company executives said. LeFort said the chip maker expects to move to 70-nm DRAM production at its Dresden fab sometime in 2006.
The Richmond fab will focus solely on memory production, Becker said, including 256-Mbit synchronous DRAMs, 256-Mbit DDR, DDR2 and "specialty DRAM products" such as mobile RAM, Becker said.
The fab will also leverage Infineon's DRAM process technology developed at an adjoining 200-mm fab that has been operating for several years. The facility, which is partly funded by the Commonwealth of Virginia, is located just east of Richmond amidst a string of Civil War battlefields.
The new 300-mm fab will produce about 25,000 wafer starts a month at full capacity. Workers were racing this week to unload and install new equipment in the new fab's huge "ballroom." They appeared to have completed about one-quarter to one-third of the installation.
On the equipment front, ASML Holding NV of the Netherlands and Nikon Corp. of Japan are reportedly the winners of a big lithography-tool order within Infineon's fab in Virginia, according to sources in the industry (see Sept. 10, 2004 story).
ASML will reportedly provide the 193-nm scanners in the fab, while Nikon grabbed the 248-nm business, sources said. Until now, the German chip maker primarily used scanners from two suppliers: ASML and Japan's Canon Inc.
Back in April of 2004, Infineon said that it would implement a $1 billion expansion p
I've got Infineon memory in one of my machines, and no problems so far.
Willie Green gently weeps.
WAKE UP CALIFORNIA ! ! ! WOW look at all these nice states getting the good jobs, maybe CALIFORNIA should get a FN clue...Any politicians listening in California?
That is a lot of product flow. I got a pretty big bonus from my former company for 45,000 wafers out in a quarter, and that was for six-inch wafers, not biggies like that...
Trouble is, a lot of those products have uniformity problems with the product yield per lot of wafers because of the larger size. The photolithographics people had better be really on their toes to pull that off...
And if they do pull it off, look for prices to drop shortly thereafter.
Maybe. I know that a simple one percent increase in yield can mean millions in profit for a semiconductor manufacturer at just one fabricating facility. It doesn't mean a decrease in equipment maintenance, labor, research, testing, materials, regulatory or energy costs.
One would think that once the company recovery of initial investment occurs, they would offer lower consumer prices, however, many such products are manufactured for other companies in the production of various devices sold to the public and to the government (that we ultimately pay for).
A lot of the patented processes will not affect consumer prices initially. They will when the patents run out , novelty appeal of the product has run its course with consumers, or the government allows sale to the public. Some things are not available because they are controlled for military or law enforcement reasons.
The proprietary secrets in production efficiency may decrease consumer prices if the purchasing companies of those chip sets are really wanting to compete for market share. This is a good reason when buying computer equipment - - not to get a lot of proprietary hardware. It makes repairs, replacement of parts or the whole device much more economical.
What retail brand do these guys use?
What do you mean by retail brand? Of what?
Well, there is Mushkin memory, Kingston memory, Crucial memory,
OCZ memory....etc/ can buy those at the local PC Club or online places like Newegg.