April 17, 2006 – Sumitomo Metal Mining Co. plans to hike production capacity for gold bonding wire by 20% to 250,000 km/year during the current fiscal year, according to Japanese newswire reports.
The 20-30-micron-wide wire is used to connect semiconductor devices inside the chip package to external lead wires. Sumitomo does the initial wire processing in Japan, then forms the thin bonding wires in Japan as well as sites in Malaysia, Taiwan, and China, locations most likely to see the capacity increases.
The company hopes the increase will vault it to the No. 1 supplier in the market, with about 30% share.