Moving day begins at Chartered

March 26, 2004 – Singapore chipmaker Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing Ltd. began moving in equipment to its $3 billion, 300mm Fab 7 facility on March 26, with tool order shipments being reported by ASML, Axcelis, and Applied Materials. Pilot production at the facility is scheduled to begin late 3Q04 with an expected capacity of 2000 wafers/month; commercial production is planned by 1Q05.

According to a Reuters story, the fab would need to achieve between 9000-10,000 wafers/month to break even — “two to three customers with three to four devices should get us there,” concluded Chartered CEO Chia Song Hwee, quoted by Dow Jones. (Chartered already has one customer in IBM, with which it recently signed a sourcing agreement for 90nm SOI products.)

To achieve those breakeven production levels by the end of 2005, analysts have suggested that Chartered will need to spend another $700-$800 million, which would require more fundraising. Hwee dismissed that idea, however, saying the company’s capex budget this year is marked at $700 million, with approximately $400 million of that spent on Fab 7.


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