Tokyo Fujitsu Ltd. is planning to spend $1.5 billion to build a 300mm fab, which will begin operation in spring 2005 with a capacity of 10,000 wafers a month, reported a Japanese newspaper Friday.
Fujitsu acknowledged that they are considering a new fab, but said nothing has been nailed down yet. "No final decisions have been made with respect to details, such as location and scale," the company said in a statement. "We will make a formal announcement after such decisions are made."
Among the major players in Japan's semiconductor industry, only Fujitsu has not disclosed a plan to shift to 300mm wafer production. The company's electronic device business had been in the red since 2001, turning profitable again in the second and third quarters of 2003 because of resurgent demand in the consumer electronics and IT sectors.
To maintain competitiveness and scale of economy, Fujitsu needs to be more aggressive with its fab plans, analysts said.
Though behind the 300mm wafer shift outside of Japan, other major semiconductor makers in Japan have already set forth building 300mm fabs. Toshiba has just completed its first 300mm fab in Oita. NEC Electronics is building a fab in Yamagata, which will begin operation this year. Sony is also building a 300mm fab in Nagasaki.
Renesas Technology, a joint venture of Hitachi and Mitsubishi Electric, took over Trecenti Technologies' 300mm fab from Hitachi and is now expanding the capacity. Elpida Memory Inc. is also expanding the capacity of its 300mm fab in Hiroshima for DRAM production toward 15,000 wafers a month.