Jan. 10, 2008 – Confirming earlier local reports, Matsushita says it will spend nearly ¥100B to expand semiconductor production at its Tonami facility in Toyama Prefecture, Japan.
The new ¥94B (~$860M) 200mm plant will focus on image sensors for the company’s digital cameras, in-vehicle devices, camcorders, broadcasting, and medical equipment, with production starting in September 2008 and ramping by August 2009, gradually increasing to 30,000 wafers/month, the company confirmed in a statement. The proposed facility will have floorspace of ~40,000 sq. m, with ~10,000 sq. m of cleanroom space, and will incorporate improved environmental measures such as local cleaning technology that will reduce CO2 emissions from air conditioning systems by 30% compared with the existing plant. Matsushita also indicated the new plant will be “capable of coping with the progress of fine processing technology,” i.e., suggesting it can be upgraded in the future.
Initial reports from local media had projected a ¥95B ($869M) investment in the Tonami site, part of a previously-announced ¥145B ($1.33B) investment plan to expand that operation and another plant in Toyama Prefecture, to boost output of chips for use by group companies in a range of consumer electronics devices. Internal sales to group firms accounted for about 53% of Matsushita’s ¥438.2B ($4.0B) in FY06 revenues, according to the Nikkei daily.