Report: Wafer fabs on the rise

July 1, 2003 – An increase in the number of 300mm fabs in use and being built is helping drive the recovery of the semiconductor industry, according to a new report from Strategic Marketing Associates (SMA).

Five 300mm wafer fabs have opened in 2003, bringing the total number of 300mm fabs to 22. Eight more are scheduled to begin production this year.

“As these new fabs ramp, they will buy equipment and we predict, push up capital spending for the first time since 2000,” said SMA president George Burns.

The SMA’s July World Fab Watch report also shines a spotlight on Japan, whose semiconductor industry is undergoing a revival, thanks to fab closures, consolidations and transferal of ownerships.

Burns cites the example of Renesas, the joint venture of Mitsubishi and Hitachi started in April 2003, which now has 23 lines and is the 10th largest chip company in the world in terms of capacity.


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