Chartered nabs $610M for 300mm fab expansion

May 18, 2007 – Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing has secured a $610 million loan guarantee from the US Export-Import bank, to support a further boost of capacity at its 300mm Fab 7 facility.

The tools will be used for a phase 2 ramp of Fab 7 to 39,000 wafers/month, utilizing 90nm down to 45nm processes. Beneficiaries of the equipment investment include Applied Materials, Novellus Systems, Lam Research, Varian Semi. Equip. Assoc., KLA-Tencor, and numerous other US exporters, according to the company.

The credit facility is divided into two tranches, with availability period of three to five years. JP Morgan is the guaranteed lender for the loan transaction. The deal follows a $653 million loan that Chartered signed with the US Ex-Im bank in 2004 for Fab 7’s phase 1 capacity ramp.

In its latest quarterly results, Chartered indicated Fab 7 increased capacity in 1Q07 by about 9% to ~15,000 wafers/month in 1Q07 [101,200 200mm-equivalent, divide by 2.25 to get 300mm, then divide by 3 to get monthly], about a 51% jump from a year ago, and expects to boost capacity another 7% in 2Q07 to just over 16,000 wafers/month.

A Chartered spokesperson confirmed that the company is currently at ~15-16k wafers/month, in the midst of a Phase 1 ramp at Fab 7 that will push capacity up to 18k wpm. (George Burns, president of SMA, thinks Chartered will hit 25k wpm by year’s end.) Phase 2 will more than double planned capacity to 39k wpm, while a final Phase 3 will finish at max capacity of 45k wpm.

The Fab 7 ramp stages are multiyear plans and will depend on a variety of things like market conditions, customer demand, next-gen technology adoptions, and financial status, the Chartered spokesperson noted.


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