Burping bag

EAST HILLS, N.Y.—Pall Corp. has received Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for a new filtration system, Leukotrap WB, which collects, filters and stores whole blood without the need for “burping” (manually squeezing) the bag to remove air.

The new system, Sterile Air Ventilation Elimination, or SAVE, performs the process automatically.

At press time, Pall Medical President Roberto E. Perez said the new system was a “significant improvement” over previous filtration techniques.

Perez added that the company hopes to see a boost in sales, and was anticipating a positive response from the marketplace once the Leukotrap system was made available to blood centers at the end of May.—MAD

DRAM definite

EUGENE, ORE.—Hynix Semiconductor Manufacturing America (HSMA), the U.S. subsidiary of Hynix Semiconductor Inc., has reaffirmed its plans to invest $100 million to upgrade its DRAM wafer fab here.

Hynix has invested more than $1.6 billion in the Eugene plant, which has a 44,000 square-foot cleanroom.

According to Farhad Tabrizi, Hynix's vice president of worldwide marketing, the upgrade to Hynix's 0.13-micron PrimeChip technology at the Eugene facility will result in a production increase of more than 50 percent.

The fab currently produces 30,000 wafers per month of 256 megabit (Mbit ) DDR DRAMs with 512 Mbit sampling.

The upgrade comes just in time for Hynix, as the company faces possible 57 percent import duties from the U.S. Commerce Department and 33 percent duties from the European Commission. Hynix has said it plans to get around any final imposed duties by drop-shipping outside of EU countries and relying on its Eugene fab.

Unlike previous upgrades to the facility, production will continue at the site, and the current 850 employees and operations will not be affected.—MAD

Job generator

AUSTIN, TEX.—The $500 million upgrade of the Samsung Austin Semiconductor LLP plant here will add 300 jobs, company President Sung Lee says.

According to a statement, Samsung Austin Semiconductor already employs 950, and the advanced equipment and plant expansion will let it produce chips on the nano-scale.

The three-year project will add 40,000 square feet of cleanroom space to the existing $1.4 billion plant, built in 1996. The 660,000-square-foot plant is on 300 acres in northeast Austin.

The plant, owned by Seoul, Korea-based Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., makes 128- and 256-Mbit memory chips, most commonly found in home computers and workstations. After the upgrade, Samsung's Austin will make 1-gigabit memory chips used in high-end servers.

Estimates from the Austin Chamber of Commerce indicate the additional 300 jobs, with average annual pay of $53,000, will put more than $15 million a year into the Austin economy. This spending, in addition to associated spending on equipment and materials, will mean that as much as $753.3 million will be added to the local Austin economy.

During construction, according to the chamber, the expansion could generate about $135.2 million and create more than 1,100 temporary jobs.


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