June 20, 2005 – Yokogawa Electric Corp. said Friday that it plans to spend about 25 billion yen (US $229 million) to construct a plant for developing and mass-producing compound semiconductors for its optical packet switches and other products, reported the Nihon Keizai Shimbun.
Construction on the Kanagawa Prefecture plant is expected to start this fall, with operations slated to begin in November 2006. Complete with R&D facilities and clean rooms, the site will have 28,000 sq. m. of total floor space.
Kanagawa Prefecture is expected to pitch in about 3.5 billion yen (US$32 million). Yokogawa plans to initially produce 1 million units a year.
Optical packet switches, a new technology for use in fiber-optic communications, are still in field trials. But the firm decided to make the up-front investment because it is positioning the switches as the core product in its long-term strategy.
Such switches transmit light signals without first converting them into electrical signals. It allows for high-speed, high-capacity fiber-optic communications with speeds of up to 40 gigabits/sec.
In addition to optical packet switches, Yokogawa plans to use the compound semiconductors in its analog-digital converters, measuring devices, and modules for fiber-optic communications.