SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Texas Instruments Inc. is expanding its 300-mm analog fab amid an upturn in the market.
As reported, TI (Dallas) last year opened a 300-mm analog semiconductor fab in Richardson, Texas. TI's new analog facility, dubbed RFAB, will be the first analog chip fab to use 300-mm wafers. TI had already moved to equip the fab by buying $172.5 million worth of chip production equipment from Qimonda AG's fab in Sandston, Va.
In the third quarter of 2009, TI announced the ''phase I'' opening of RFAB, and immediately began to move in equipment. Initial production for RFAB is due by year's end.
Now, the company is expanding its manufacturing capacity with the recent purchase of more than 100 new fab tools. This is the first step in launching the ''phase II'' expansion of RFAB.
When complete, ''phase II'' of RFAB will double the analog manufacturing capacity in the facility, bringing its revenue capability to about $2 billion. TI will begin moving ''phase II'' equipment into the facility immediately, ''so it is ready to be brought online as market demand warrants,'' TI said.
Phase I and II combined will fill only two-thirds of the 1.1 million square foot facility, leaving additional room for future expansion. "With Phase I progressing well and on track to begin shipments by the end of the year, this phase II expansion will give us a head start in providing our customers access to significant analog capacity to fuel their growth," said Gregg Lowe, TI senior vice president, in a statement.
The fab will produce analog integrated circuits based on TI's proprietary process. Customers will use these chips in electronics ranging from smartphones and netbooks to telecom and computing systems.
Phase II of RFAB is the most recent in a series of analog manufacturing expansions by TI over the past 24 months. In early 2009, TI opened Clark, an 800,000-square-foot assembly and test facility in the Philippines, which quickly ramped production with the latest packaging technologies.
In 2008, TI redeployed more than 150 tools from an underutilized wafer fab in Dallas to fortify capacity in other analog fabs worldwide.
In 4Q09, TI began installing nearly 200 manufacturing tools for 200-mm production in Dallas, Freising, Germany and Miho, Japan.