SAN JOSE, Calif. Responding to a growing demand for trailing-edge processes, Chinese silicon foundry provider Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. (SMIC) is beefing up its 200-mm fab capacity.
SMIC (Shanghai), which is also expanding its 300-mm fab lines, Wednesday (May 31) said that its subsidiary, Semiconductor Manufacturing International (Tianjin) Corp., has entered into a $300 million, five-year loan agreement with various banks.
The proceeds of the loan will help to expand the capacity at SMIC’s 200-mm fab located in Tianjin. In 2003 SMIC originally acquired that fab from Motorola Inc.
China Construction Bank led the arrangement of the loan with other participants, which include China MingSheng Bank, China Development Bank, Industrial and Commercial Bank Of China, Agricultural Bank of China, Bank of China, China Merchants Bank, China BoHai Bank, Bank of Communications, and
In a statement, Richard Chang, chief executive of SMIC, said: "We are pleased that with strong support from our banking partners, the Tianjin loan is significantly oversubscribed exceeding our target loan amount by $150 million. We plan to use the loan proceeds and internally generated cash flow to fund the Tianjin fab expansion.”
SMIC operates three 200-mm fabs in Shanghai and one in Tianjin. It also has a 300-mm fab in Beijing. SMIC is also planning to build so-called Fab 8 in Shanghai, which is a 300-mm plant geared for the production of logic chips.
The 200-mm expansion follows a growing demand for trailing-edge processes, namely 0.18-micron technology. “That’s a sweet spot in the industry,” said one executive in the foundry business.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (TSMC), for one, is also scrambling to keep up with huge customer demand, especially for trailing-edge 0.18-micron processes.
To keep up with demand, TSMC recently bought the entire 0.18-micron fab capacity from its troubled foundry spin-off, Vanguard International Semiconductor Corp. (Hsinchu, Taiwan).
TSMC (Hsinchu) owns a 29 percent stake in Taiwan’s Vanguard, which is a specialty foundry. TSMC and Vanguard also compete against each other for business, especially for power management and high-voltage accounts.