July 7, 2006 – Soitec, Bernin, France, has revealed more details about its plans to expand capacity for silicon-on-insulator wafers, involving a new 350 million euro, 300mm facility to open in Singapore in mid-2008 that will boost annual production capacity by nearly 40%.
Soitec’s total investments in its Bernin facilities amounted to more than 350 million euros as of March 2006, and will top 500 million euros when totally equipped, including two additional 300mm lines being installed at Bernin II during 1H06, the company noted. Other recent investments include an acquisition of IMEC spinoff TraciT Technologies, as well as a 13 million euro for about 1300 sq. m of cleanroom space from MEMSCAP. All told, the expansion efforts at Bernin are expected to hike output capacity to 1 million wafers/yr — a 39% increase from the company’s current maximum potential production capacity of 720,000 wafers/yr.
Complementing concurrent expansion efforts in Bernin, Soitec says it will build a new 300mm SOI fab, Fab 3, in Singapore’s Pasir Ris Wafer Fab Park. Groundbreaking is slated for late August of this year, with production starting in mid-2008, and ramping over a two-year period to reach full capacity of 1 million wafers/yr. Total investment is expected to reach 350 million euros.
“Singapore offers a privileged environment, which will contribute to the rapid and complete success of our development strategy and will allow us to create strong relations with our main customers and partners in the region,” stated Andre-Jacques Auberton-Herve, president and CEO of Soitec.
Soitec also gave more insight into its NanoSmart project, a five-year, 170 million euro partnership with CEA Leti to find new applications for Soitec’s proprietary Smart Cut technology. The company anticipates about 100 million euros in government grants and financing to help support the joint work, which will involve hiring at least an additional 100 researchers.