Jan. 3, 2008 – Japan’s SUMCO (nee Sumitomo Mitsubishi Silicon Corp.), the world’s No.2 silicon wafer provider, is planning to consolidate its domestic engineering staff of ~1000 workers at seven manufacturing facilities to a new R&D center at its facility in Imari, Saga Prefecture, according to the Nikkei daily.
The move of operations from the sites, including plants in Imari and Yonezawa, Yamagata Prefecture, is in an effort to improve efficiencies among staff that perform a range of functions from crystallizing silicon to wafer processing. Roughly 200 engineers will focus solely on developing next-generation technology, particularly 450mm wafers and products for 32nm system chips, working to lower production costs and improve crystallization precision, the paper notes; another 50 personnel will come over from affiliate Sumco Techxiv Corp.’s Hiratsuka facility in Kanagawa Prefecture, the paper notes.
The company plans to invest ¥15B (US ~$135M) for the new building and cleanroom facility, plus research equipment. Construction is expected to be completed by year’s end 2008, with all engineers transferred in by spring 2009.