Formosa Komatsu Silicon to build 300-mm wafer material factory

Jan 18, 2005 Ι Industry In-Focus Ι Electronics and Computers Ι By Ken LPM, CENS
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Taipei, Jan. 18, 2005 (CENS)--Formosa Komatsu Silicon Corp., a silicon-wafer material making venture between Formosa Plastics Group (FPG) of Taiwan and the Japan-based Komatsu Ltd., has announced its plan to open a facility to supply 300-mm silicon-wafer materials in Taiwan.

The company projected to spend NT$10 billion (US$312.5 million at US$1:NT$32) on the planned factory, which is designed to have initial output of 100,000 wafers a month when it is completed next year. Eventually, the company will double the output.

The projected factory will be equipped with integrated production capability from pulling ingots to wafer competition. Its wafers will go to domestic chipmakers including Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC), ProMos Technologies Inc., PowerChip Semiconductor Corp., and Inotera Memories Inc. Inotera is an FPG-run chipmaker currently running a 300-mm wafer fab. The company also plans to ship the wafers to mainland China.

Formosa Komatsu decided to set up the factory considering the rising demand for 300-mm silicon-wafer materials from domestic chipmakers. The company's executives estimated local chipmakers used a total of 100,000 300-mm wafers a month last year and would use 300,000 wafers next year. Worldwide, the consumption is estimated to reach 1.5 million wafers next year.

Currently, Formosa Komatsu is running a 200-mm wafer material factory at an FPG-run industrial zone in Mailiao of Yulin County, central Taiwan. The running factory now cranks out 200,000 wafers a month and is projected to put out 300,000 wafers by the end of this year.

Formosa Komatsu was established in 1995 and now has paid-in capital of NT$4.2 billion (US$133 million). FPG and Komatsu hold a 49% and 51% stake in the venture, respectively.

The wafer-material supplier began turning profitable in 2003, with monthly profit reaching NT$70 million-NT$80 million (US$2.1 million to US$2.5 million). Last year, its revenue totaled NT$4.4 billion (US$137.5 million). The company's executives expected the new factory to inject NT$400 million to NT$500 million (US$12.5 million US$15.6 million) a month into their company's revenue.
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