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Philips to Invest in Taiwan Semiconductor Unit
Jan 13, 2004
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A Taiwan-based semiconductor packaging and testing unit of Royal Philips Electronics N.V. plans to invest NT$2.3 billion (approx. U.S. $68.2 million) in 2004 to expand production of high-end semiconductors, including image sensors, a spokeswoman for the company said.

The Kaohsiung-based unit plans to use the money "mainly for new equipment in order to increase production capacity," said Robyn Kao, Asia-Pacific public relations manager for Philips.

The deal highlights the strong increase in demand for semiconductor packaging and testing services, a segment of the chip industry that ensures each chip works correctly and adds protective packaging before the chip is placed inside products.

Philips also intends the Kaohsiung facility to provide more value- added services, supporting Philips Semiconductors' global and regional development.

In an indication of the sharp rise in demand for chip packaging and testing, Taiwan's two largest firms in the sector have both reported record December monthly revenue and full-year 2003 revenue.

Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc., the world's second largest chip package and test firm, said revenue in December increased 47 percent on year to NT$3.44 billion, while full-year revenue increased 23 percent to NT$31.49 billion.

The company's largest rival in Taiwan, Siliconware Precision Industries Co., said revenue in December rose 32 percent on year to a record high NT$2.77 billion, while revenue for full-year 2003, rose 23 percent to NT$27.38 billion.(Dow Jones)

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