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Philips Expands Shanghai Semiconductor Operations
Jul 30, 2003
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Royal Philips Electronics NV said that it has expanded its joint-venture semiconductor manufacturing facilities in Shanghai, China, with a new, U.S. $687-million fabrication line entering trial production.

The new line will be able to produce 30,000 chips a month when it reaches full production, the Dutch company said in a statement. Construction on the new facility began in April 2002, but Philips didn't say when it would enter commercial production.

The new line will manufacture integrated circuits (ICs) on 8-in wafers, initially with chip details as small as 0.25 microns, though an upgrade to 0.18-micron technology is planned for next year, said the statement.

The joint venture, Advanced Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp. of Shanghai, or ASMC, was set up in 1988. It already has two chip-fabrication lines in operation, one making 5-in wafers and the other 6-in wafers.

While 8-in wafer technology is considered the global industry standard, mainland China still has only a handful of facilities of that scale. Making chips on bigger wafers allows higher-volume production, but the capital investment is correspondingly larger.

While the new facility at ASMC is part of a recent wave of investment in chip manufacturing in mainland China, the local industry is still small.

China bought U.S. $24.4 billion worth of chips in 2002 to supply its electronics industry, 97 percent of which was imported. (Dow Jones)

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