January 10, 2006 – Photronics Inc., Brookfield, CT, plans to build a new photomask fabrication facility in South Korea, to support R&D and volume production of photomask technologies for semiconductors using 65nm- and below process technologies. Efforts to secure a site for the facility are now being finalized; construction is scheduled to begin in 2H06 and completed in 2H07, with total investment of $150-$300 million.
Once completed, the new facility “will be the Asian semiconductor industry’s focal point” for photomask technologies required to develop devices down to the 32nm node, according to S.H. Jeong, president of Photronics Asia.
The new site also will house the company’s Asia corporate R&D center, launched in May 2005 in Cheon-an, Choong-nam, that is developing 65-45nm mask technologies for semiconductor manufacturing as well as masks used to fabricate TFT-LCD products using ?7G processes. Another $50 million facility in Taiwan, announced a year ago and slated for production in mid-2006, aims to supply FPD masks directly to Taiwan customers.